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Secret Santa brightens Christmas for local Kmart shoppers

Assistant Manager Dawn Samora holds some Kmart gift cards at the Bellingham Kmart store, Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016.
Assistant Manager Dawn Samora holds some Kmart gift cards at the Bellingham Kmart store, Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2016. pdwyer@bhamherald.com

An anonymous donor played Secret Santa for the second year in a row at the Bellingham Kmart, spreading Christmas cheer to shoppers with a donation.

Several Kmart officials said the donor stopped by the retailer’s Sunset Square location on each of the three days before Christmas with money to pay for customer purchases. But because of Kmart corporate rules, no local Kmart employees could provide dollar amounts or other details of the donor’s generosity.

Krista Kenoyer of Bellingham posted about the donation on Facebook.

“Pretty awesome surprise at the register #payingitforward #grateful #tistheseason,” Kenoyer wrote on Christmas Eve.

Just last year, an anonymous donor paid for all layaway items that were obviously gifts for children – to the tune of about $2,000, Assistant Manager Dawn Samora said at the time.

That donor also bought some $3,600 in $50 gift cards that were distributed to cashiers, with orders to credit them to the bills of customers who were buying Christmas gifts or decorations, especially items for children, Samora said.

Other customers took to social media or contacted The Bellingham Herald to praise the donor’s holiday generosity this year.

Sal Blankers emailed that he was doing some last-minute shopping just before noon on Christmas Eve and a store clerk refused his payment.

“I just went to buy a few stocking-stuffers and the bill was $48 and they said I didn’t owe anything someone is paying a portion of everyone’s purchase since yesterday (Christmas Eve) and all the layaways are paid off too,” Blankers wrote.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty

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