A New York-based nonprofit surprised a dozen military families living near Fort Bragg in North Carolina by paying their holiday layaways just days before Christmas.
A small crowd of servicemen and their families thought they were gathering at the Fort Bragg North Post Exchange for a customer appreciation day for refreshments, Sandra Oliver told ABC Raleigh-Durham affiliate WTVD.
General manager Bill Shoffner then announced to the attendees that the store had partnered with Pay Away the Layaway to ease the financial burdens for several military families before several workers rolled out shopping carts covered in wrapping paper with gifts inside.
"I'm so appreciative because it's been a little rough for the Christmas season," single mother and veteran Shaquanna Capers, whose son's birthday is also approaching, told WTVD. "Every dollar counts for me at this point, anyway."
While Capers' tab only came out to about $100, Oliver's was upwards of $400, and Pay Away the Layaway footed the entire bill.
"I'm just excited," Oliver said. "And it was a nice surprise to know I did receive some help this Christmas."
The nonprofit has partnered with "Good Morning America" and Cottonelle "to spread kindness" in the five days before Christmas, it wrote on its Twitter page.