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Anonymous Donor to Pay Layaway at Bloomfield Township Kmart

One customer stunned discount store employees by pledging to join the national trend and pay strangers' bills.

The request was so odd that Yvonne Messink didn't initially understand it. As a veteran of 27 years with the company, the assistant manager at the Bloomfield Township Kmart thought she had seen it all.

But when a customer Thursday was adamant that she make layaway payments on behalf of a needy family for the holidays, she didn't realize it was happening across the country.

"I initially was going to encourage her to support our St. Jude campaign, but she said 'no,' and that she wanted to help a family with toys or clothing on layaway for the holiday," Messink said this morning. "It's never happened before."

The donor has asked to remain anonymous to this point and final details are expected to be worked out later today, Messink said.

Her district manager indicated it was happening in stores around the nation.

The Detroit Free Press reported today that anonymous donors are paying off strangers' layaway accounts and buying the Christmas gifts other families couldn't afford, especially toys and children's clothes.

The difficult part for Messink and the staff now is to determine which layaway customers have the most need, which is not a requirement for Kmart's longstanding layaway policy. She encouraged any others interesting in donating to come with a name or support Kmart's ongoing campaign with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital through Jan 1.

Selma Kahl December 16, 2011 at 07:01 PM
How can I be part of this from my own home. ? I am disabled and do my shopping at home. But I would love to pay off someone's bill that would loose the toys. I have been trying to find where to call.
Art Aisner (Editor) December 16, 2011 at 09:10 PM
Thanks Selma, and kudos for wanting to lend a helping hand. You can find the Kmart in our listings at http://bloomfield-mi.patch.com/listings/kmart-252; or Yvonne Messink suggested calling 248-335-7844 for more information. Let us know what happens and happy holidays!
Art Aisner (Editor) December 20, 2011 at 12:16 AM
So glad to read that Selma. It's great to play a small part in something like this. Thanks for sharing and I applaud your generosity. Happy Holidays!
Darcy Anderson December 20, 2011 at 05:51 PM
This is so inspiring and beautiful. Selma, you have not only paid it forward but ou have mentored many to do the same. Thank sweet angel. Happy holidays.
Selma Kahl December 23, 2011 at 04:54 PM
I deleted my post by accident, but never mind about that. The experience was truly awesome. Three little boys will each get a bicycle that was going to be cancelled. It does not get better then that. My Christmas has been made perfect by this opportunity. Thanks lady in Michigan, who started this wonderful idea. I hope it is around next year too.

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