Secret Santa helps families in Harlan County

Nola Sizemore Staff Writer

December 23, 2013

Bringing Christmas cheer to Harlan County, a Secret Santa arrived early paying layaways out for many families needing help during the Christmas season.

Tiffany Bowling and David Kelly, of Closplint, along with their twin daughters, Alyssa and Alexis, who are 11-months old, got a huge surprise recently when they received a call from Walmart telling them to pick up their layaway because Secret Santa had paid it out for them.

Bowling said she and Kelly were unemployed and they were having a hard time paying on the Christmas layaway for their twin daughters.

“We had been paying on the layaway with hopes of getting it out by Christmas,” said Bowling. “I was home and my boyfriend’s mother had given me some money to pay on the layaway that day when the phone rang and it was Walmart. They told me Secret Santa had paid approximately $80 on my layaway and I could pick it up.”

Bowling said she was shocked and very excited after receiving the news.

“Eighty dollars might not be a lot to some people, but to us it was a big amount when you don’t have any money coming in,” said Bowling. “You don’t know how this touched my heart. I don’t know who Secret Santa is, but I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. This has meant so much to us. It was one of the best Christmas presents I’ve ever received.”

Tiffany said this is her daughters’ first Christmas and it will always be remembered as a “special one.”

Bowling added, “The babies’ mamaw said this goes to show there are good people out there that will help people. She said there really is a Santa Claus and he came early to Harlan County.”

Paul Meister, manager of the Harlan Walmart store, said Secret Santa had paid approximately $2,000 on layaways at his store. He said Secret Santa may have paid out layaways at other businesses in the county.

Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510, ext. 115, nsizemore@civitasmedia.com