Over a dozen Connecticut families were shocked on Saturday to learn their layaway balances had been paid off in full by a charitable group for the holidays.
Seventeen families were called to the Burlington Coat Factory in East Hartford and were told only that it was for "a layaway event," NBC Connecticut reports.
After they all lined up, Burlington Coat Factory Operations and Customer Service Manager PJ Seguljic revealed, to their joy: "Your layaways have been paid away."
The so-called "Layaway Angels" take donations via their website, which they use to help payoff layaway balances at stores across the country.
The group chooses only families who have made regular payments on their accounts.
In order to qualify, the layaway account must also be 90 percent items for children.
All told, the group paid $1,100 in layaway items for the customers, whose balances averaged around $100.
One of the customers, Virginia Green, told NBC Connecticut she wasn't sure if she was going to have her balance paid off by Christmas.
“I’ve just been praying all week like God I gotta get this layaway out. I don’t know how I’m gonna do this,” said Green.
Payaway the Layaway has, in recent days, paid off blances for families in Atlanta, Dallas, Virginia and others, according to their Facebook page.