The layaway Santa dropped $21,000 in a couple of hours paying off Christmas layaways for families at a Florida Walmart. This was not a planned event, even for the layaway Santa himself. When 40-year-old Greg Parady stopped into Walmart to pick up some bicycles to donate to a charity event, what he saw took him by surprise and he went into action, according to NBC News on Dec. 13.
Last Saturday The Villages Walmart was the place to be if you were picking up your layaway because this was the store that got plenty of Christmas cheer from Parady. How did this all get started?
Parady said it “unfolded” as he stood in Walmart watching people in line waiting to pick up their layaways. That is when he heard one woman say she might have to cancel her order because she just couldn’t afford it. That is when the credit cards came out and Parady started swiping.
At first he wanted to pay for all the layaways that were tucked away in the bowels of Walmart but when the Walmart manager said the cost would be $89,000, Parady said that was beyond his means. That is when he started swiping three different credit cards to pay for all the people that happened into the store to pickup their layaways in the next few hours.
Parady’s managing partner for his financial firm was with him to help pick up the bikes, but she got busy calling the banks because after so many charges, the bank started to decline the payments thinking it might be a scam. While Cindy Nazzaro, 58, manned the phone to three different banks, Parady swiped his credit card for all the unsuspecting folks in line.
Walmart’s operations manager, Deb Davis, said the people didn’t know what was happening at first, even when the Walmart cashier would tell them that the gentlemen standing over there just paid for their layaway. It took a minute for many to wrap their head around this.
One customer that Parady paid for seemed to stick in his mind. That was a woman in her 20s, who started to cry once finding out someone paid for her layaway. She sat down on a bench and broke out in tears. Every time he would look her way she would mouth the words “Thank you.”
Parady hopes that his good deed will inspire others this holiday season. When all was said and done, he had spent $21,000 paying off layaways for folks who had Christmas come a bit early this year.