Angel saves Christmas holiday for many families

Posted 15 December 2015 at 12:00 am


I would like to take a moment in this holiday season to put a spotlight on a very magical thing that apparently happens every year. But until today I had no knowledge that Mrs. Claus lives in Orleans County. As anyone can see walking into Albion Wal-Mart they start their layaway programs back up for the holiday season.

As a mother of four children this is a lifesaver. To be able to get my kids gifts and slowly pay it off makes the holidays more do-able and stress-free. But today (Dec. 11) I was blessed with a Christmas miracle and realized Mrs. Claus is a neighbor.

See, at about 10:45 this morning, while in Wal-Mart slowly working my way back to layaway, I received a phone call from a Crystal at Wal-Mart. Sadly I missed the call due to chasing my nearly 2-year-old down the toy aisle. So once Sadie was distracted by a toy, I listened to the 24-second message assuming she had called to tell me something had happened to my layaway.

Instead the message informed me that a Good Samaritan had come in and paid my balance in full! I was in shock. I scooped up Sadie and bolted to the Courtesy Desk, where I found Crystal with a list of 10+ names of individuals who had their layaways paid off.

As I waited for them to get my now paid for gifts I began to cry. In a world that lately is full of nastiness and people hurting people a woman in small rural Orleans County came to her Wal-Mart and helped make 10+ families’ Christmas.

I do not know this woman nor her I. She did not know that my two youngest children were both born under 2 pounds and special needs. She did not know that because of their special needs, I had to stay home for the last two years to take care of them.

I just returned to work part time but was still worried how we were going to “swing” Christmas. She knew none of that. She came into that store trying to lighten the burden on some families.

I doubt she even realizes the blessing she has bestowed on our families. She, in a span of a few minutes, restored my faith in humanity and our future. She reminded me that the hate-filled headlines in the news can not erase people like her – genuine good people full of compassion, kindness and love.

Even though I asked who she was, the steadfast elves in Wal-Mart refused to name “Mrs. Claus,” whom I wanted to send a thank you note. The only tidbit they offered is she has been doing this for a couple years now. So Mrs. Claus if you are reading this on behalf of the Beneways (and all the past and future families you have helped) we say a very big Thank You!

Every time I see my kids playing with the toys you helped purchase I will be reminded of the true meaning of Christmas and that Angels live among us. What a blessing you are to our community! You have inspired my family and I, we are already thinking of ways to “pay it forward.” A lesson we needed to be reminded.


Mrs. Claus saves the day!

God Bless and Happy Holidays!

Ray and Jaime Beneway