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‘It’s a big help:’ Georgia church members paid off $10K in layaway bills for 23 Walmart customers

ATLANTA — Parishioners at an Atlanta-area church made the holiday season a little better for two dozen families — paying off $10,000 worth of Walmart layaway bills.

Suhwanda McCreary said it was the extra Christmas spirit she needed heading into the holidays. She said her 28-year-old son, Justin, was killed in April.

“I used to take him shopping every year for his children for Christmas,” said McCreary. “He left three kids behind.”

This year, McCreary had to do the shopping alone, which she said was hard, emotionally and financially, so when she showed up to Walmart in southwest Atlanta on Monday, Dec. 9 to find out that parishioners from Cascade United Methodist Church had paid off her entire layaway order, she couldn’t believe it.

“It’s a big help,” said McCreary. “It’s a tremendous help because I really wasn’t able to do it because sometimes, I would borrow money, so to get this phone call meant a whole lot to me.”

In all, church members paid off $10,000 worth of layaway items for more than 23 families in need.

“It means everything to us to see the smiles on these people’s faces,” said Pastor Kevin Murriel. “You just can’t beat that.”

It was a generous gift that helped so many, like Laurel Sessions, who was able to take home Christmas presents for her grandkids that she otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford.

“It helps me to be able to pay a bill that I didn’t have the money for,” said Sessions. “I needed this bill paid, and it just came right at the right time.”

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