Grateful shoppers meet Secret Santa who paid for Layaway gifts

DEDHAM (CBS) – Tuesday was the deadline for shoppers to pick up items they had put on Christmas layaway at Toys “R” Us in Dedham. When two young mothers arrived to retrieve the Christmas presents they had set aside, they were stunned to discover a stranger had already settled their tabs!

The donor had paid off the layaway debts for 20 families, totaling over $6,000. He wanted to remain anonymous but word leaked out about his identity and the gracious women wanted to meet him.

“It reinforces the fact that there are people out there that will do kindness and if we continue to do kindness, kindness will be returned,” said Jacinta Telesford-Ximba, one of the mothers whose gifts were paid for.

It turns out the “Layaway Angel” is automobile magnate Ernie Boch Jr.

“It’s overwhelming, honestly, I really feel like it’s giving back to the community, he’s Ernie Boch so it’s amazing,” said Stephanie Hardmon, another recipient.

Boch reluctantly agreed to come to the store feeling if he did, it might encourage others to be giving this holiday season.

“I am not the first person to do this, hopefully I’ll never be the last,” Boch said. “I think it’s a great thing to do and if you have the means to do it, I think you should absolutely do it.”

Boch is not the only Layaway Angel. Toys “R” Us told WBZ-TV that the tabs of 15 other families were picked up by anonymous donors, totaling over $5,000.

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