'Secret Santas' leave families in tears after paying off lay-bys

A Queensland mum has been left in tears after being one of many families to have Christmas gifts on lay-by paid off by Good Samaritans.

Juanita Sentowicz told Nine’s A Current Affair someone had paid off $200 in gifts she had on lay-by at Mr Toys Toyworld at Gympie, north of Brisbane.

"I was crying when the lady told me because it's quite emotional to find out somebody's done that for you," Ms Sentowicz told the program.

She’s not the only one to benefit from the stranger’s generosity either.

Grandmother Stacey Green was shocked to find someone had paid off $500 in gifts she had planned for her son and grandson.

Juanita Sentowicz is pictured with Lorraine Broadly at Mr Toys Toyworld in Gympie.
Juanita Sentowicz with Lorraine Broadly picking up some presents at Mr Toys. Source: A Current Affair

Ms Green’s husband, who works driving a tour bus, was laid off earlier this year due to Covid-19.

Store owner Lorraine Broadly said she has never experienced generosity like this before. She’s owned the store since 1994.

As for who the kind stranger is, the store and beneficiaries of their kindness may never know.

The donor paid off the amounts owing under the condition he remain anonymous.

To cover his tracks he also transferred money under the pseudonym ‘Santa Claus’.

Two more Toyworld stores in Queensland, one in Victoria and another in the Australian Capital Territory also had items paid off.

Presents are pictured under a Christmas tree.
Presents under Ms Sentowicz's tree. Source: A Current Affair

At Mr Toys Toyworld at Burleigh Waters on the Gold Coast, $16,000 in lay-by items were paid off by a mystery woman earlier this month, the ABC reported.

Employee Maddie Gillespie told the ABC staff were left “speechless” by the kind act.

Alanah Loadsman, a single mum-of-two, said she was almost in tears on finding out someone had paid off a $300 dollhouse she wanted for her seven-year-old daughter.

"It goes to show there are so many good people out there — it's definitely made a bad year into a good year, that's for sure,” she told the ABC.

In Nambour, on the Sunshine Coast, a kind stranger also paid off lay-by items at Big W, the Sunshine Coast Daily reported.

Renee Dodd told the paper she was “stoked” by the news her kids’ gifts had been paid for.

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