The only thing is, Walmart doesn’t actually have a policy that would prevent someone like LaRue from performing an act of kindness the way she intended. When Local 2 went up the retailer’s corporate ladder and got in touch with Todd Manley, a regional vice president, he told reporters there’s no such thing as a policy that prohibits anonymous layaway donations. “I was really disappointed that we didn’t handle it right,” he told the station. “There’s no reason we don’t support this.” Manley added that Walmart actually had facilitated several thousands of dollars worth of layaway “secret Santa” gifts in the region, including one whopping $9,500 donation that paid for several families’ presents.
As a gesture of goodwill, Walmart invited LaRue to come back to Walmart, where they matched her $300 donation. The recipient was a single mom of four who told Local 2 LaRue’s formerly anonymous gift was the only way she could afford to pay for all the presents she had on layaway. “It just came at a time that I really needed it,” she said.