- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 14, 2014

Several Secret Santas in upstate New York have been getting into the holiday spirit by stopping at Toys “R” Us stores and paying off the layaway balances for every customer.

The founder of Sofia’s Angels Foundation, who wished not to be named, stopped at the toy retailers in Auburn and Framingham on Friday and paid off more than 100 accounts totaling thousands of dollars, a local Fox affiliate reported.

“These families are obviously struggling, and they’re putting things on layaway, and I’m able to help them,” she told the station. “There’s never enough to do. There’s always more to do.”

The donor said she started the foundation after her mother passed away from breast cancer and said this is her way of celebrating Christmas.

“I have a baby, it helps a lot,” said one woman whose layaway account was paid off. “She’s just awesome. I’m gonna cry!”

On Wednesday, a different woman went into a Bellingham store and paid more than $20,000 on 150 layaway accounts.

“Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of excitement and a lot of acts of good will,” Toys “R” Us spokeswoman Adrienne O’Hara told The Boston Globe. “It’s heartwarming every time.”

In a separate instance last week, an anonymous donor paid off the layaway balances of several people standing in line at a Toys “R” Us store in Woburn, totaling more than $1,000, according to the company.

In 2013, the company had a total of 597 layaway orders charitably paid off, The Globe reported.

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