LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A Secret Santa delivered a Christmas miracle for more than a hundred Louisville families this week. This person wishes to remain anonymous, but a check worth $13,000 is speaking volumes the day before Christmas.
A few days ago, more than a hundred stacks of layaways crowded a storage room at the Wal-Mart near Pleasure Ridge Park. The deadline to pay for them had come and gone.
"There was one order and it was almost $1,300 of toys. So you know, one, this person has a lot of kids, and two, they've paid so much money on it they really did want it, they just can't afford it now," Summer Anthony, an assistant store manager said.
But on the night after the deadline to pay, a mystery giver walked into this Wal-Mart.
"I've worked for Wal-Mart for ten years, and I've never had it happen in a store I was in," Anthony said.
The person behind the $13,000 check originally thought that it would cover the costs of 65 layaways, but a few price adjustments later and he'd taken care of 169 families.
Staff then began the task of finding the layaways that appeared to include a majority of children's toys, calling each family with the surprising news.
"The first couple that showed up cried, which made my assistant manager cry as well," Anthony said.
"One lady just recently adopted three girls. So, she didn't have money to pay off their Christmas, so she was very happy that someone did that for them," Connie Smith, an assistant manager said.
"Some of them told us they wouldn't have been able to get their children's Christmas without that. They were sitting at home wondering what they were going to do," Anthony said.
Just hours before Christmas, a few layaways remain. The clock is ticking, with so much to gain.
"I'm going to give them the layaway, I'm not going to deny them. I'm not the Grinch!" Anthony said.
The only thing this Secret Santa asked for in return was for families to pay it forward.