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An elderly couple has selflessly paid off 82 lay-bys for toys placed on hold.
Debra Delves, the manager of Toyworld in Bendigo, around 150km north of Melbourne, said the two grandparents walked into the store on Wednesday, wanting to give back to families who had done it tough over the last year amid Covid-19.
She said while the ‘Secret Santas’ weren’t wealthy themselves, they had done it tough when they were younger and ‘wanted to change as many lives as they could’.
‘They’ve been through it before when their kids were younger, financially they’ve had struggles,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
The elderly couple paid off the lay-bys for 82 families who had toys on hold at the Toyworld in Bendigo
‘They explained to me one Christmas they couldn’t afford anything and had to go to St Lukes, which is like St Vinnies, and they still remember what that felt like.
‘Their kids are grown up now and they felt like they could afford to do something, it was their turn and they just wanted to pay it on.’
Ms Delves said she was given the ‘best job ever’ to call the 82 families who were chosen at random and tell them the good news.
‘You don’t realise how much of an effect the last 12 months has had on these families,’ she said.
She said some customers had been coming in each week paying around $5 to $10 on their toys on lay-by, slowly chipping away at the costs.
Store manager Debra Delves said there were tears of joy when she got to make the call to the families about the good news (stock image)
‘They said ”you just don’t know how this has changed our Christmas and how much this means to us”,’ the manager said.
Incredibly, one man who had his lay-by paid off is a father of twin boys who had just $5 in his bank account and wasn’t sure how he would buy his sons presents for Christmas or their upcoming birthdays.
Ms Delves said upon hearing the news of the ‘Secret Santas’, another Bendigo man offered to donate $100 to the father to take his boys out for dinner on their birthday.
‘We were all in tears!’ she said.
‘We’ve all been pretty numb for the past six to 12 months and it’s just beautiful to see people sharing their emotions. It gives me goosebumps.
‘A real positive and generous wave has swept across Bendigo and Victoria.
‘It’s opened people’s hearts up.’
Source: Daily Mail