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Secret Santa' forks out $9K on layaways

Posted: 2:49 PM, Dec 15, 2015
Updated: 2015-12-15 22:49:41Z
ENCINITAS -- A 'Secret Santa' paid the layaway accounts of dozens of shoppers at a Walmart in Encinitas.  
 
The woman showed up at the store on Leucadia Boulevard Friday night with her husband and young daughter. She was wearing a shirt that said 'Blessed' and she paid off $9,000 worth of layaway accounts for nearly 50 customers. She asked to remain anonymous. 
 
Denise Chee was one of the lucky recipients. 
 
"The voice mail said someone had paid my layaway, it's ready to be picked up," said Chee, who burst into tears while talking to 10News Monday. "When I heard that I was just, just surprised. I had no words. I had no words."
 
Chee's husband is in the military and the couple has six children. She had $600 worth of layaway items. She was about to return some of the toys because they couldn't afford it all. 
 
"I was flabbergasted,” Chee said. “I was crying and I was trying to hold back my tears and I just couldn't help it." 
 
Store employees were just as surprised. 
 
"Last year, we had one customer come and she paid for five or six random layaways, but this lady wanted to pay the whole layaway, so we were shocked," store manager Fredy Gallego said. 
 
Chee wants her Secret Santa to know how much she appreciates the random act of kindness.
 
"Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for what you've done for us, and I would give her a big hug."