My good friend Donna Vickroy finds the most heartwarming stories. This one is so touching, I just had to share it with you.
Every time you walk into a crowded store at Christmastime, you have to doubt the spirit of the season still exists. This Christmas tale from the Orland Park Toys R Us store reassures us, however, that yes, there is a Santa Claus.
Anne Morgan, an Orland Park mother of two, shared the news with Donna, who turned it into another of her trademark Southtown columns:
"I came home yesterday and found a message on my machine telling me to call the store, that they had excellent news for me,” Morgan said.
Morgan had placed a Casio keyboard on her holiday shopping list. Her 8-year-old son Mark has Down syndrome. He had a keyboard until Morgan accidentally broke it last summer.
“He loves music,” she said. Still, the $99 price tag was a bit steep for her. Morgan put it on layaway and, as so many layaway participants do, hoped for a holiday miracle.
She got it.
A good Samaritan walked into the toy store and told manager Brad Harken he wanted to do something to help people in need. And then he paid for presents that eight families had put on layaway, handing over nearly $1,000.
“He told me that he’d been blessed and that he wanted to pass it on,” Harken told Vickroy.
Then he simply shook the store manager's hand, bid him a “Merry Christmas” and left, never sharing his name.
Vickroy and Morgan want that man to know something.
(Morgan) understands why Santa likes to keep his distance, why he would want to remain anonymous. Good people often don’t want special attention for their acts of kindness.
But she was hoping to get a message to him. She wants him to know that he is appreciated.
“I want him to know who he helped,” she said.
Are you a local store owner or manager with an inspiring story of Christmas spirit to share? Do you have a friend or acquaintance with a similar Christmas tale? Please share your news with Patch readers by leaving a comment on this post.