A local church is making the season bright for some Ohio County Families, by paying off their layaway accounts.
The St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Wheeling paid off the layaways for people who had toys in their accounts, and they did so without, notifying the families. On Thursday we met the Robinson’s, just one of the families who were over the moon to find out their Christmas gifts were taken care of.
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Like many other families, the Robinson’s picked out their Christmas gifts and placed them on layaway at the WalMart at the Highlands. On Wednesday, while they were at dinner, Wendy got a text from WalMart saying their layaway was paid off and ready for pickup, “Honestly, the first thing that meant through my mind was ‘did someone hack their text system?’ it’s not a very nice joke and then I showed it to Nathan and then we received a phone call from WalMart, and the woman explained that it was legit, and I started crying and I explained to her that over half our layaway was actually for other children and not our own family,” said Wendy Robinson.
This tale of Christmas giving started with a bit of a sad beginning a long time ago. A family by the name of Scott left the church with a hefty endowment, but it came with some pretty specific stipulations on the way the money would be spent, “There was a family who were members of St. Matthews in the early 1800’s who lost a daughter to illness and they created a trust to help with children for Christmas more than a hundred years ago,” said Reverend Mark Seitz of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Chruch.
The Robinon’s aren’t alone, the church was able to help pay for Christmas layaways for several Ohio County families.
For the Robinson’s they say this is a true Christmas blessing, “It’s just such a blessing and I don’t know if words can really describe how grateful we are and so very happy that someone would do something like this,” said Nathan Robinson.
And for 8-year-old Ayden Robinson, he knows a little about the magic of Christmas too, but he likes one part of Christmas most of all, “I like to wrap gifts.”
In total, the church paid off $5,000 worth of layaways this week. St. Matthew’s also helps kids with clothing, toys, and food every year and this is just one of the ways their helping this Christmas season.
The really cool thing about the Robinson’s story is they had several things in their layaway for children outside their family. They have befriended a homeless family and they had toys for them and kids they used to foster in that account.