JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Latoya Copeland stood in the lay-away line at Walmart earlier this week and made small talk with the woman standing behind her.
"There was a lady who came up behind me in the line and we started you know, small talk, talking about bicycles, because she said she always waits till the last minute to get a bike for her daughter," Copeland told Channel 4.
Copeland said when it was her turn in line, she explained to the lay-away associate that she couldn't afford all the items she had set aside for her two young boys. Copland instructed the associate which items she could pay for and which ones she would have the associate put back, and that is when the unexpected happened.
"The lady behind me in the line told me to stand there and not go anywhere and she looked at the layaway associate and she told the her not to put my items back because she was going to purchase all of them for me," said Copeland. "She said it was just something she wanted to do, she wanted my kids to have a merry Christmas. I was just overwhelmed with joy."
Copeland told Channel 4 that three days after, she is still filled with the Christmas spirit by this random act of kindness.
"I guess because you hear about that type of stuff happening to other people, but you never think that is something that will happen to you, so I started crying," said Copeland.
A newly single mom, Copeland told Channel 4 that she was cutting corners to begin with in order to buy her sons just a few things for Christmas. Originally, Copeland tried to pick up her items at Walmart on Friday, but the associate in the store offered her an extension on her layaway tab, and that's why Copeland was in the store on Tuesday.
"So had I not taken her offer, the associates offer to do the extension until Tuesday, I would not have been in the right place at the right time and I just think she's an angel," said Copeland.
She told Channel 4 that without the woman's generosity, her sons wouldn't have the Christmas she was hoping to give them.
"It is not every day that you run into people with good spirits and kind souls, and to just know that that still exists," said Copeland. "You know, at a time when there is so much bad stuff in the world, especially at a time like this – I just would really like to thank her from the bottom of my heart. It means a lot, it really does."
Copeland said she could only afford to pay $100 of the items she had picked up. The stranger picked up nearly $200 of her tab with Walmart.
The woman wouldn't give Copeland her name and refused to take a picture with Latoya, saying that she didn't have any make-up on.
Copeland said when she put the presents in her car, she went back to thank the Good Samaritan, but she was gone, and had left a message with the layaway attendant for Latoya and her sons to have a very merry Christmas.