Greensboro, NC -- It will be even easier to keep tabs on Christmas cheer sweeping across the country this year and -- even better -- it will be even more rewarding to spread it.
Big retailers Kmart, Walmart and Toys-R-Us are encouraging people to be "layaway angels" again this year. The grassroots phenomenon captured attention last Christmas as hundreds of people anonymously paid off the layaway bills of shoppers they'd never meet.
This year, Kmart is keeping track of the secret Santas who visit its stores with this layaway angels tracker. At Toys-R-Us, any time someone pays off a layaway bill, the company will donate $200 to Toys For Tots.
If you're interested in being a layaway angel, you have to make your donation in person. There is no layaway deadline at Kmart, but at Walmart it's Dec. 14 and at Toys-R-Us it's Dec. 16.
Workers at the stores are hopeful layaway angels will make a return visit this year.
"It kind of restores your faith in mankind to watch people look out for somebody else," Carol Peebles, a pricing specialist at the Kmart on Huffman Mill Road in Burlington, said. "It's really generous and it makes you want to do it for somebody else."
Peebles witnessed lives being changed last year when she called customers to tell them their bills were paid.
"Oh, I love it. I love it. I love it," she said, smiling. "People are always amazed and happy and thankful and ... it spreads the Christmas spirit."
The Kmart in Reidsville has already reported a couple layaway angels have already visited so far this holiday season.
WFMY News 2