COSTA MESA (CBS) — More than 1,000 shoppers were able to gather up their layaway gifts before Christmas thanks to a Laguna Beach man who picked up a $16,000 tab at a local Kmart store.

David Wilson called the store on Dec. 16 and asked employees to tally up all layaway items under $100.

He then sent the store a check for $15, 919.61 to pay for all of the gifts.

The store’s manager spent the next four days calling customers to let them know the good news.

Since then, other layaway angels have donated another $8,000 to the store to help spread holiday cheer.

Employees say most of the donors don’t appear to be wealthy.

Strangers have picked up tabs for gifts at several stores across the state.

Comments (28)
  1. Brock says:

    Obviously these people putting stuff on lawaway are poor and should be spending their money elsewhere as buying christmas gifts is not a priority!

    1. alg says:

      Wow, a real GRINCH. what side of the bed did you get up on today. Take a look in the mirror BROCK, do you look a little GREEN.
      Sour grapes. , which also goes along with crocodile tears.
      You are one sorry piece of KRAP.
      Judge ye not, lest ye be judged.
      I have done so. amen.

    2. sue says:

      What do you know about the gifts? They could be winter coats, mittens, socks, boots, school supplies, etc. Gifts aren’t always toys you know. When I was growing up in a poor family, Christmas and birthdays were always “practical” gifts. Sure, there may be un-wise poor folks out there, but many strugging families give winter clothes at Christmas as gifts.

  2. Leonard says:

    If they were real angels they would donate that money to feed the hungry or another worthy cause instead of helping welfare people spend there money on material things.

    1. alg says:

      Boy, another GRINCH. How judgemental can you get?
      I’m sure if they (the real angels) were to do what you suggested, then perhaps you would criticize them also.
      I know so many nice people named Leonard. It’s a shame you’re not one of them.
      By the way, are you hungry? What makes you think that these layaway people are on welfare? Perhaps they are on social security with no place to live.
      I’m not saying you are not right about some of your statement. I’m sure that there are some people on welfare that are putting something in layaway for themselves or someone else.
      Have you ever bought anything for someone else ? Or are you one of those that is interested in only YOURSELF.

      1. rick says:

        at Leonard i am FAR from welfair i use lay away to get my familys gifts EARLY so i have good choice of items and also as a way to keep my kids from SNOOPING and finding their gifts before hand. so relax not everyone who uses a layaway is a poor person

      2. Leonard says:


        Maybe you should have spent the money on English lessons as welfair is spelled welfare! You are right about one thing though, not everyone who uses layaway is poor, some are poor and undeducated!

      3. rick says:

        UNDEDUCATED?? guess we are even huh??

    2. Terri says:

      How do you know they don’t do just that during the rest of the year? Don’t be so bitter…its not good for you.

  3. alg says:

    It is so nice to read something positive these days. My heart goes out to those who are without homes or somewhere to live that is safe and healthy.
    I would like to see some charity that is in Los Angeles county help those who are without homes, who are living in shelters, etc. I know several restaurants that give all their leftover food for the day to shelters and others without food. That of course is just the beginning.
    I am seeing an overall movement toward more employment this month. I hope it continues.
    We must all work hard to ELECT individuals who will pledge IN WRITING that they will resign if they don’t work on a bitarisan level to heal our country.
    What most Americans don’t know is that there are outsiders who want to see our country fail. China is one of those outsiders. North Korea is another.
    There are some elements in Russia that try to hurt us. IRAN is our number one enemy. Our military is on FULL ALERT at this moment as IRAQ doesn’t waste one day in creating chaos in that country.
    For this week and for the New Year I wish everyone good cheer and happy holidays. If you can help your neighbor or someone who needs help.

  4. * says:

    How can you put someone down for doing such a gracious thing for families….Shame on you …..And who says they dont donate to those services that feed the hungry as well…..You have no idea…I had small children and made it ok – but every year it was a struggle…. but to see those little faces light up when they wake up Christmas morning – made it all worth it … God Bless those Secret Santa’s I pray He Blesses them more n more…..- I hope someday I’m in a position to do the same- and pay it forward…..”Give and it shall be given unto you, pressed down shaken together, running over”……

  5. Doreen says:

    Just because people put things on layaway for Christmas, doesn’t make them poor or on welfare. Practical and thrifty I would say. Better to put the items on hold and pay a little at a time (what you can reasonably afford) and when you get them out, they are yours, free and clear. Unlike those “rich” folks who just CHARGE their purchases, i.e. “Gifts” and then run up bills they cannot afford to pay back, plus interest. Layaway is the best way.

    P.S. I have an extremely good job, good pay and still always use layaway whenever I have the option, it saves money and teaches values to wait until you can afford to pick it up, rather than just run out and charge everything and worry about it later.

  6. Gerry says:

    I work for David Wilson. He has over 2000 people working for him. He treats all of us like he treated those people he paid their layaways for. He paid, through one of his associates,for one of his lower level employees to have major dental reconstruction that was not covered by insurance. He has raised and contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars,if not millions for the Boy Scouts, the Orangewood Children’s Home, and many other charities in OC and elsewhere. The Guy truly has his head in the right place along with his heart.

    1. Terri Fuqua says:

      See Rick? You judged too quickly. I hope some of this man’s kindless rubs off on your bitter soul.

      1. Terri Fuqua says:

        I mean Leonard…not Rick

    2. Charlene says:

      I guess TIME magazine was wrong (yet again) when they claimed that rich people are not charitable!.Just more of their usual pro-Obama / anti-1% Class War propaganda.

      David Wilson sounds like a great guy, Merry Christmas to him and to everybody!

  7. Wally George says:

    Layaway is for black people

    1. Mcgovern says:

      Wally, give black people more credit than that! You forgot the welfare is for black people as well and so is stealing.

  8. Gerry says:

    Where are Wally and Mcgovern going with this? Off the rails obviously.

  9. Gary says:

    Obviously Occupiers railing at the dreaded 1%. Morons

  10. Leonard says:

    The people should have been screened to see if they were illegals who put stuff on layaway cause we don’t need to make things easier for their kind.

  11. Jose Rodriguez says:

    Yes, I am going to that store and grab the most expensive things, and stand there looking poor. Hopefuly that angeles will select me and pay for me. I love free things. American peopel is very rich, they should help out mexican peopel their neigbor. They paid our food and money for babys or kids in school my mather in hosiptal. NOw, they are coming to pay for our Chrismas gift.

    1. JORGE S says:

      you are not a mexican and you know it, maybe that guy who really needs to bring food to your family doing the dirty job, but that’s fine because any one else whit brain will see these on your coment.
      JUST LOOCK AROUND media en espanol, advertisement en espanol, and the owners having espanol speakers on their bussines to do sales to LATINOS

  12. Voice of Reason says:

    Mr. Wilson owns 16 car dealerships so yes I would say he is well off. He is a part of “the evil 1%” that Emperor Obama and all the occupy idiots want to tax to death. I hear people say that the country is going down the drain. Well, I have news from them…we are already there.