Misty Davis, a mother and nursing student who also works full time, told Eyewitness News she went to pay off her layaway account at the Wal-Mart in Conroe on Sunday when she got quite a surprise.
"I started handing [the clerk] the money and she told me to keep my money. I looked at her confused and she told me to keep my money. She said, 'Someone came in and paid a lot of money on layaways, and yours was one of them,'" Davis described. "I said, 'They paid my layaway off?' She said, 'Yeah, Merry Christmas.'"
The donor was anonymous. Davis' balance was approximately $300, and included gifts for her four daughters.
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"I'd love to tell them thank you very much. It was a big blessing for my family," said Davis.
Surprise layaway payments have become such a phenomenon in recent years that Wal-Mart has a name for it: a layaway angel.
"When customers quietly pay off others' layaway items, we're reminded how good people can be. The joy that comes from these transactions extends well beyond dollars and cents. We're honored to be a small part of these random acts of kindness," Leslee Wright, a spokeswoman for the retail giant, said in a statement.
"It just was a really cool feeling. I was kind of shocked," said Davis. "Then it gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling that people are still good, you know?
Davis says besides helping her financially, the gesture has also inspired her and her daughters to "pay it forward" at places like drive-thru lines.
"It makes me want to do things and help other people," Taylor Davis, 16, said.