#PRWin: ‘Layaway Santa’ Rings Up $20K for Walmart Shoppers

Attention Walmart Shoppers: Your favorite discount store hasn’t had a slew of great news lately. In fact, you could fill one of its 18-wheeler trucks full of the bad PR they’ve collected recently.

From a food drive for its destitute hourly employees to deciding those hourly workers need to work on Thanksgiving, a lovely hashtag #WalMartFights and a disabled wrestler being banned from Walmart for life, all Walmart stories seem to suck out loud this time of the year.

The store that can’t seem to win during the holidays needed a little Christmas magic from the jolly old fat man to make positive headlines.

For this #PRWin, we go to Florida where the Polar Express apparently made an unplanned stop.

Santa’s name, at least in an Orlando suburb called The Villages, is Greg Paraday. Paraday is a financial planner by day who was strolling the aisles of his local Walmart last week. That’s when the Yuletide spirit nipped him right in his rosy red cheeks.

Paraday overheard a woman talking with a friend, worried she wouldn’t be able to pay off her layaway account in time for Christmas. That’s when employees said Paraday walked back to the layaway department and paid the woman’s bill. And then some. He then proceeded to pay off half of any existing layaway account of more than $200. By the time he was done the bill was $20,000. 

“I can’t believe [his credit cards] didn’t melt he was running them so fast,” Walmart operations assistant manager Deb Davis told WKMG-TV, Orlando.

Imagine that. Receiving that gift would be such a blessing. Shoot, I scream like a schoolgirl when I’m in a Starbucks parking lot and some random drive-thru angel buys my hot chocolate. However, imagine being able to be the blessing like Paraday. So amazing.

Despite the snarky comments, wars on Christmas and unfortunate stories about ne’er-do-well Scrooges, this truly is the most wonderful time of the year. If someone knows Greg Paraday, CEO of the Paraday Financial Group located on 340 Heald Way, Suite 226 in The Villages, Fla., 32163, tell him “Thank you.” Angels like this guy only come around once a year.

(That was a big hint, people.)

Publish date: December 18, 2013 https://dev.adweek.com/digital/prwin-layaway-santa-walmart-shoppers/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT