MOUNT VERNON — The Christmas spirit is alive and well in Mount Vernon. This has been made very apparent recently with reports of anonymous purchases made to pay off customer’s layaway plans at retail stores.
“There’s been several occasions. We’ve had probably more than a dozen cases this year,” said Chuck Nixon, store manager at the Mount Vernon Kmart. “I’m not familiar with every one, but for the most part it’s been random where someone will ask for a layaway item that fits their criteria. It’s usually common Christmas merchandise such as toys or clothing.”
The practice is not a new one, but this year the generosity has been greater.
“We’ve had a few in past years, but this year we’ve definitely had more than ever. It’s far and away the most we’ve ever done,” said Nixon. “It’s a good thing.”
Manager Chris Hill at the Mount Vernon Walmart cannot speak of any occasions of having layaway plans paid. But he did say there people who paid for customer purchases at the register. “They will just approach the cashier and say ‘this one’s on me,’” said Hill. “They don’t necessarily know the other person; they just want to be able to make a purchase for them.”
Why give away cash or gifts anonymously to someone in need? One man who has done it for several years commented, “There’s no thrill like watching someone light up” when they receive a gift they had not expected.