This Christmas season just got a whole lot brighter for a group of Ohio County, West Virginia families. That's because a local church surprised them by completely paying off their Walmart layaway accounts.
St. Matthew's Episcopal Church used a trust fund given to them more than a 100 years ago, to pay off $5,000 worth of layaway bills.
"The criteria for this was that the people had to be residents of Ohio County, either Wheeling or Triadelphia, and they needed to have children," Rev. Mark Seitz, rector of St. Matthew's, told Fox 13. "They needed to be buying toys. So the layaways that we were paying off were toys for children for Christmas. And the manager went through and found people in those two communities and as far as I know, they are not going to be told who did this, just that it was done for them."
Although the church wanted to remain anonymous, the news of their generosity quickly spread.
One of the families blessed by the church is the Robinsons. When Wendy Robinson got a text from Walmart saying their account was paid in full, she could hardly believe it.
"Honestly, the first thing that went through my mind was 'Did someone hack their text system?' It's not a very nice joke and then I showed it to Nathan and then we received a phone call from WalMart, and the woman explained that it was legit, and I started crying and I explained to her that over half our layaway was actually for other children and not our own family," said Wendy Robinson.
"It's just such a blessing and I don't know if words can really describe how grateful we are and so very happy that someone would do something like this," said Nathan Robinson.
St. Matthew's ministers to its community in other ways too. The church donates food and toys to families in need during the holiday season.