During this season of goodwill, a local church has blessed others with a sizable donation.
Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church donated $66,000 to pay off layaways at the Burlington Coat Factory located in Cheltenham Mall.
The donation benefits some 800 Burlington customers who had items on layaway.
“We did it for a couple of reasons. Number one, it’s the love of Jesus Christ, and it’s the season to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and number two, we hope that people who are blessed by this will then use what they didn’t have to spend on themselves to be a blessing to someone else, and pay it forward,” said Rev Alyn E. Waller, Enon’s senior pastor.
“We just want to model what a church can do for its near community when we pool our resources and when we work together — and we think that is an answer for these times.”
Waller was spurred to encourage Enon to make the donation after recently viewing a Secret Santa story on 20/20.
“I’m just grateful that we could be a blessing. That’s what the church exists for. We preach Christ, and I believe in him fully — but we’re also here to give a tangible expression of that. When times are financially hard that expression needs to look financial,” Waller added.
Enon’s donation comes at a time when Secret Santas are paying off layaways at various retailers around the nation during this holiday season.
Burlington has been calling customers to inform them that they can come pick up their layaway items.
“It’s an extraordinary act of generosity. It was a remarkable act of Christmas spirit,” said Neil Penz, regional vice president of Burlington Coat Factory.
“We’re very grateful. Many of our customers had gifts on layaway and they were overjoyed to know that they could get them in time for Christmas. It’s really the perfect timing. It takes the stress out of their lives.”
In response, Burlington is donating 1,000 coats to Enon to be distributed to those in need.