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Philadelphia Church Pays Off More Than 800 Layaway Bills

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By Jericka Duncan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A local church in Philadelphia donated $65,000 to Burlington Coat Factory in Cheltenham in order to pay off the layaway bills of more than 800 people.

“We’re just excited that we’re able to do this, because it’s about being a blessing to people,” said Rev. Alyn Waller.

Rev. Waller is the pastor at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church in Mt. Airy. He says after watching a program on television, he was inspired to reach out to his community in a major way.

“I was watching a show, and someone did something like this out West,” said Rev. Waller. “I said you know, that sounds good. I said, ‘Lord, if this is on my heart in the morning, then we need to search for a way to do that.’”

“It means a lot because I’m going through a lot,” said Clarice Jenkins from the Northeast. She says she has two children, and thanks to the donation, she was able to get the rest of her Christmas gifts off of layaway on Tuesday.

Layaway is a program that allows people to make monthly payments on merchandise they want to buy. Burlington Coat Factory released a statement that reads:

“In a remarkable act of holiday spirit, the Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church paid off the layaways of 800 Burlington Coat Factory customers. Many of our customers had gifts on layaway and have been overjoyed to pick them up just in time for the holiday season. Burlington Coat Factory plans to pay this tremendous act of kindness forward by donating 1,000 new coats to the church’s local network of organizations within the community to keep people warm this winter.”

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