Secret Santa Pays for Holiday Bills

December 20, 2011 Updated Dec 20, 2011 at 3:13 PM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

December 20, 2011 Updated Dec 20, 2011 at 3:13 PM EDT

JAMESTOWN, N.Y. (WKBW) - An average layaway balance at K-mart is anywhere from $50 to $150. Now shoppers are getting those bills paid for without even taking out their wallet.

A random and anonymous group of people are going to K-marts and Wal-marts paying off shopping balances. In the Southern Tier, some people got their balance paid while others received gift cards toward their purchase.

Last Thursday, a person paid a $100 balance at a Jamestown Wal-mart. On Friday, another anonymous person paid all but one dollar of someone's bill. They then left a holiday note for that shopper.

Good Samaritans have anonymously paid off K-mart layaway accounts in Nebraska, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana and Montana. There are reports of Wal-Mart shoppers getting a secret treat in Missouri, Illinois, California and New York.

Employees in Jamestown could not confirm if the same person made the donations but they do say that the generosity is growing and more people are joining in this effort.