Anonymous ‘secret Santas’ have been visiting toy stores and paying off customer layaway debts along Queensland’s Gold Coast, spreading kindness and holiday cheer after a difficult year.
The first reporting took place a few weeks ago when over $16,000 in layaway debts were paid off by a group of individuals that stopped by Mr. Toys Toyworld in Burleigh Waters. As a result of their kindness, the toy store was able to share the good news with more than 80 customers.
Being a toy store, the majority of Mr. Toys Toyworld’s customers during the holidays are parents. And as parents, many of them are under a decent amount of financial stress this time of year. Upon hearing the news that their debts had been paid, these lucky customers were overwhelmed with gratitude.
According to ABC News, “Single mum of two Alanah Loadsman had put down a $60 deposit on a $300 dollhouse when she called the store on Tuesday and learned the gift for her seven-year-old daughter had been paid off in full.”
When asked what it was like to experience an act of kindness like this, Loadsman told the news channel, “It’s helped massively for a single mum – so generous I almost cried.” Loadsman went on to say, “It goes to show there are so many good people out there – it’s definitely made a bad year into a good year, that’s for sure.”
Shortly after these random acts of kindness were reported at Mr. Toys Toyworld, similar events took place at a Gympie Toyworld in Queensland. Yet again, an anonymous benefactor reached out to the toy store asking to pay all customers’ remaining layaway balances.
When asked why the man explained that he simply wanted to spread some holiday cheer. According to the store owner, Lorraine Broadley, all he hoped for in return was for people to pay it forward and look for ways to continue the chain of kindness beyond the toy store.
While it’s unknown if these two events were related, one thing is for certain: a little bit of kindness always makes a big difference. And while we might not all have the means to pay off an entire store’s layaway debt, most of us can find a way to have a positive impact on at least one person!
Be it by donating five dollars or five hundred, by volunteering time or just smiling and saying hello, there are a million different ways to be kind. We hope you find yours this holiday season! Cheers!