'Layaway angel' pays off 50 accounts

'Layaway angel' pays off 50 accounts

LONGVIEW, Wash. - Someone in the community gave a very generous gift to 50 people by secretly paying off their layaway accounts at a store in Longview.

Bob's Sporting Goods is not saying who the person is or how much they spent but if you do the math, it might be around $25,000.

"It's just a really cool thing to have happen," said Matt Schlecht, who runs the store that his grandfather opened 65 years ago. "They want no recognition - just wanted to make a few people in our community's Christmas a little bit brighter."

Most of the layaways were not toys. They were clothes - work clothes, solid and durable - so people can work hard and stay warm.

Many of the layaway customers thought it was a joke or a trick to get them to sign up for a credit card. But when they found out it was real, they were shocked, excited and overjoyed.

We called up Wayne Elkins, one of the people whose accounts was paid off. The store told him about the gift on Friday, the day of the shooting in Connecticut that rocked the nation.

"I did have an emotional reaction because of all the tragedy that happened that day and I actually cried for about 30 minutes," Elkins said.

"This was an awesome Christmas gift," he added. "I can't express my appreciation enough."