A Texas man decided to play Kris Kringle this past week by paying off layaway totals for families around Austin. Kacee Jackson, the "Secret Santa," wound up paying off 83 layaways in total at three separate Toys R Us stores in the city.
Jackson says he got the idea through the line of work that he does. Being an advisor to families who are trying to avoid foreclosure, he sees his share of hardship. But, after a conversation with a client regarding Christmas presents, Jackson decided to do something special.
She confided in Jackson, saying she was unable to afford the remainder of her layaway bill and her kids would have to go without Christmas presents this year. What shocked Jackson the most was that she had already paid $20 towards the total and only owed an additional $50 or so. Naturally, his heart went out to his client, and he rushed over to pay the remainder of her bill for her.
What he didn't know was that many other layaways were sitting on shelves because of their owner's inability to pay. After looking at a few more families' layaway totals, he quickly made the decision to pay them all off. But, his generosity didn't stop there.
After his first stop, he started reaching out to his friends on Facebook, asking for their help. It was his goal to pay off every layaway for families in the same situation as his client.
By the end of the day, Jackson and his friends had gathered enough money to pay off all but one ticket for families who couldn't afford the difference. But, Jackson didn't want admiration or praise for his act.
"I've had a fortunate couple of years, and it just felt good to give back," he told the Austin American-Statesman. "These weren't people asking for help, asking for a handout. They just didn't have the money to pay for these gifts."