Friday, December 10, 2021

Feel Good Friday - Pay Away the Layaway

The countdown to Christmas is on so in today’s Feel Good Friday, we’re going to highlight an organization that helps gets presents to children, Pay Away the Layaway

Founded in 2011 by Lee Karchawer, and headquartered in New York, the mission of Pay Away the Layaway is “to inspire hope and spread kindness.” They do this by raising money and using it to pay off layaway balances for families during the holiday season. 
Geared towards shoppers with lower incomes, layaway programs allow people to make a down payment on an item, which the store then holds for them while they pay the remainder of the price in installments. It is a popular way to make sure the item you want will be there for you when you finish paying for it.
Lee was inspired to create Pay Away the Layaway after seeing a news story about a donor who paid off $25,000 in layaway balances right before Christmas. This allowed people to collect the gifts they had on layaway for their children. Lee had just spent months putting effort in to winning a year’s supply of burritos and realized his ability to rally people around a cause could be put to better use. Watch him tell his story in this TedX link.
In their first year, Pay Away the Layaway raised just over $1,000 which Lee used to pay layaway balances for people at a K-Mart store in the Bronx. Since then, the organization has expanded across the United States and includes both major retailers like Walmart and Burlington Stores and also Army, Air Force and Navy Exchange stores. In a recent promotion with Good Morning America, Pay Away the Layaway raised $328,565 in the 3 days before Christmas!
You can watch videos at this link to see people’s reactions to having their balance paid, or click here to watch donor testimonials. If that inspires you to get involved you can become a Layaway Angel. When there is a payoff event in your city, you’ll arrive on-site and help greet families, deliver the surprise news, and help the partner store associates with day-of logistics. 
Other ways you can support Pay Away the Layaway are by making a donation and sharing their story on social media. Like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @PayAwayLayaway and Instagram @payawaythelayaway.

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