The holiday season has long been regarded as a time to spend with family, focus on what matters most and -- when circumstances allow -- give back. Anonymous "Layaway Angels" have embraced the essence of the holiday spirit by doing more than just giving back. These angels have given some families true holiday miracles by paying off remaining layaway balances at Sears' stores.
Named the "Layaway Angels" by a Sears store manager, these anonymous benefactors have embraced the essence of the season's spirit, giving some families real-life holiday miracles by paying off the remaining layaway balances at Sears for customers they believed might need it most.
The Layaway Angels appeared first at a Sears in Claremont, Calif., where they elected to pay the outstanding balances totaling more than $1,000 for customers who had set aside necessities such as children's shoes, socks, underwear, other clothing and toys. Although the Layaway Angels wished to remain anonymous, the couple wrote a note to each recipient that read; "Believe in miracles and have faith -- your Christmas Angel."
"We are touched that these 'Layaway Angels' would find it in their hearts to give back anonymously. They are a wonderful example of charitable giving and what the holiday season should be about," said Don Hamblen, Sears' chief marketing officer. "We hope that the kindness of these strangers continues to spread into the New Year, inspiring others to help out this holiday. Sears has a steadfast commitment to giving back, and we are proud of the acts of holiday generosity that is occurring in our stores."
The outpouring of relieved responses from those the Layaway Angels helped was heartfelt. When the Claremont Sears store manager called the layaway customers to let them know of their holiday miracle, one customer shared that his house was in foreclosure and this was "the best present imaginable." Another father, who came in with his wife and five young children, to pay his balance was overwhelmed and in tears.
The actions of Claremont's Layaway Angels have even inspired copycat "Angels" to emerge in other parts of the country, as anonymous donors have stepped up in El Centro, Escondido and Chula Vista, Calif., Sears stores to pay the remaining layaway bills of those they thought might be in similar situations.
About Sears Holdings Corporation
Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD) is the nation's fourth largest broadline retailer with over $50 billion in annual revenues and approximately 3,800 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada. Sears Holdings is the leading home appliance retailer as well as a leader in tools, lawn and garden, home electronics and automotive repair and maintenance. Key proprietary brands include Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard, and a broad apparel offering, including such well-known labels as Lands' End, Jaclyn Smith and Joe Boxer, as well as the Apostrophe and Covington brands. It also has Martha Stewart Everyday products, which are offered exclusively in the U.S. by Kmart and in Canada by Sears Canada. The company is the nation's largest provider of home services, with more than 13 million service calls made annually. For more information, please visit Sears Holdings' website at http://www.searsholdings.com/.
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