Anonymous donors pay off Kmart layaway accounts

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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - At Kmart stores across the country, Santa seems to be getting some help: Anonymous donors are paying off strangers' layaway accounts.

The benefactors generally ask to help families who are squirreling away items for young children, often paying for toys or clothes.

At an Indianapolis store, a woman paid off the layaway accounts of up to 50 people. She even handed out $50 bills. A store manager said she was doing it in memory of her husband, who had just died.

Dozens of other donors have been active in Nebraska, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana and Montana.

Kmart representative say they did nothing to instigate the secret Santas or spread word of the generosity. Kmart is one of the few large discount chains that has offered layaway year-round for about four decades.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)