The Christmas spirit is alive and well in Dyer County.
The spirit of giving is one that customers of Fred's Super Dollar in Dyersburg witnessed firsthand this holiday season when -- not one, but two -- anonymous donors helped 30 local families put presents under their Christmas tree.
Store Manager Terry Sherrod said a resident came into the store located on Pennell Lane in Dyersburg on Tuesday, Dec. 13 and arranged to pay out two dozen layaways with an anonymous donation.
"We had a local businessman come in and make a pretty substantial donation to our layaway customers, right in time for the holiday season," said Sherrod. "With the economy the way it is, it is really going to be a help. When somebody comes to pick their layaway up, it will be great to be able to tell them that it is taken care of. It is a great thing to be a part of."
This is the second year in a row the same businessman has made an anonymous donation to help layaway customers at the Dyersburg Fred's store. Sherrod, who wished to surprise his remaining layaway customers, chose to wait until after the Dec. 15 deadline to announce the good deed.
"We have begun to sort layaways out, to get everything ready," said Sherrod before the deadline. "A lot of the people will not know until Dec. 15. We actually had someone who came in and wasn't going to be able to get her layaway out. And I was able to tell her that it was taken care of."
Sherrod said the customer cried when she heard the news.
"It's really an awesome thing," said Sherrod.
As Sherrod and Fred's employees prepared to surprise their customers with the generosity of their anonymous donor, another secret Santa arrived.
"We had a second donor on Saturday, Dec. 15," said Sherrod. "(She ended up) paying about six families' layaways. It was a considerable amount, dollar-wise, for her to do that. She wrote a note on the receipt -- 'Merry Christmas! Love, Santa.'"
Sherrod said many of the surprised customers wished to thank the anonymous donors.
"We had a total of 30 families that were helped by our secret Santas," said Sherrod. "Everybody that I talked to wanted to know who it was and, of course, I couldn't tell them. So, I just said to pay it forward and help somebody else and that would be thanks enough."