NORTH CAROLINA, USA — Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey surprised military shoppers in North and South Carolina by paying off their layaways ahead of Christmas.
More than $51,000 in layaways were paid in full by McCaffrey for 185 military shoppers across the Carolinas, according to the Army & Air Force Exchange Service.
Officials say Exchange shoppers at Fort Bragg, Fort Jackson, Joint Base Charleston, Seymour Johnson and Shaw Air Force Bases joined a video call on Dec. 21 for the big reveal, delivered by Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, who paid the layaways.
The surprise was timely for Arlene Andrade, whose husband retired from the Army with 20 years of service. Andrade had holiday gifts for two of her grandchildren on layaway at the Fort Bragg South PX.
“I recently had to quit working because I need a new kidney,” Andrade said. “I feel blessed. … This made a lot of people smile and took a lot of worries away from a lot of people today.”
“Warfighters and their families in the Carolinas make enormous sacrifices to serve this Nation, and they are more than deserving of this early holiday gift,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Kevin Osby, the Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor. “Their holiday spirits are sure to shine even brighter with this surprise.”
The layaway balances were paid off by McCaffrey through the nonprofit Pay Away the Layaway. The organization partners with celebrities and athletes to surprise civilian and military families coast to coast by paying off their layaway balances.