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Layaway angels share unexpected gifts

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Albany/HV: Layaway angels share unexpected gifts
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'Tis the season for giving and people all over are receiving unexpected gifts from charitable strangers including right here in the Capital Region. Our own Solomon Syed has more.

LATHAM, N.Y. -- 'Tis the season for giving and people all over are receiving unexpected gifts from charitable strangers including right here in the Capital Region.

"Typically they come in with an amount they want to spend and it is generous," said Ed Daniels, Latham Wal-Mart Store Manager.

They're called "layaway angels," and there are several thousand of them nationwide.

"It's actually so prevalent right now that we actually have a key on the register so we can key it to prompt the accounts, it doesn't show names but it will show gifts for kids and things like that," Daniels said.

These "angels" enter stores and pay off strangers' balances. One local woman had her entire $300 layaway balance paid for anonymously at the Latham Walmart.

"And he told her to tell me that when I asked who it was, it was Santa Clause," said Shelby Archambault, Gift Recipient.

Shelby says she had been having difficulty getting into the holiday spirit since she's recovering from Thyroid Cancer.

"I wasn't very cheery so this happening made me realize that there's people out in the world that are as caring and compassionate as they used to be back then," said Shelby Archambault, Gift Recipient.

Latham Wal-Mart's Store Manager says these angels swoop-in to help more often than you think.

"It's beautiful, it's a beautiful thing. They are overwhelmed with joy and it's actually pretty nice to be on both ends of it," Daniels added.

Now, Shelby says all she wants for Christmas is to be able to thank her secret Santa for her and her daughter.

"I wish I knew the person, I'd send them a thank you card or just something to explain how much they have made my 2013 year better," Archambault said.

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