PHILLIPSBURG — Shoppers were skeptical when Walmart called them up to say that their layaway had been paid and was ready for picking up.

Jenna Conway, a manager of the store, said a woman came to the Phillipsburg store early on Monday and asked to pay off the remaining layaways in the store.

Monday was the deadline to make final payment on layaways at Walmart stores across the country.

"They totaled about $14,000 and it was give or take 55 different layaways," according to Conway, who said the woman used mostly cash and a few Walmart gift cards in the payoff.

She said they belonged to the people who waited until the last minute to pick up or cancel their orders.  Conway said she first asked for the layaways that involved toys and items for children and then said she would pay for everything else, including electronics and home appliances.

The woman told Conway she wanted to remain anonymous.

Employees were "enamored" and customers "thankful," according to Conway.

They called the store back and asked "is this for real? Did someone just pay my layaway off?"

"It couldn't have been a more kind and gracious thing that she had done for the community to help these people have a good Christmas. Our store is very honored to be a tiny, tiny park of that story."

Conway, who has worked at the Phillipsburg store for less than a year, said she was told it's not the first time someone payed for all layaways but appears to be the most paid at one time.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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