A woman named Christine called the Charity Guild thrift shop in Brockton this week and asked for the total price of all unpaid layaway order bills. Later that day, she walked into the store with a check for the full amount — $345.66.
She asked the employees at the thrift shop to keep her identity concealed, except for her first name, and she left with a smile.
"She just said she's been very blessed in this life, and she's sharing some of her blessings with others," said Marijo Martin, the treasurer of the Charity Guild, an organization on Main Street that houses a community thrift shop and a food pantry.
"It came sort of out the blue," she added. "It's not something we expected."
Christine's check covered 19 layaway orders, most of which ranged from $10 to $30. Because customers who make layaways do not leave their contact information, most will not learn that their order was covered until they return to the store.
Martin said the first layaway customer who came in cried when she learned someone had already paid her bill.
The store offers one-week layaways to any customer who does not have the money to pay for their items upfront. For orders over $10, layaways cost $3, which is applied toward the cost of the items. They are free for orders under $10.
Revenue from the thrift shop goes toward the maintenance of the building and the operation of the food pantry, which helps about 500 people a month, Martin said.
With Christine's donation, the Charity Guild leaders will have more money for the pantry. "It not only benefits the clients, but it benefits us," she said. "It actually helps so many people in so many ways. It's just an incredible gift."