Wondering if the Christmas spirit is alive and well? This heart-warming story will put to rest any doubts. A Victorian couple has anonymously paid off 82 lay-bys at their local Toyworld store, giving Santa Claus himself a run for his money.

The generous joy-makers donated enough money to the Bendigo Toyworld store to pay off dozen of lay-bys, and their Secret Santa gesture has prompted others to do the same.

Toyworld Bendigo manager Debra told 3AW that the couple aren’t rich, but they wanted to give back to local families doing it tough over Christmas.

“These two beautiful people just wanted to change some people’s lives,” Debra said. “We have had a tough year here in Bendigo. They have been in the situation themselves many years ago knowing how tough it is at Christmas and financially they could pay it on – so that’s what they decided to do.”

The couple, who are grandparents, said they sympathised with young families struggling at Christmas.

“When they were a young couple, they had a lot of hardship at Christmas. “One year of their lives they were so desperate they had to go to a local St Luke’s- which is like a St Vinnies – because they couldn’t afford to buy anything for their kids.

“Over the years, financially, the kids have grown up and they are in a better place and they just know how hard it was. This year they could afford it – and that’s what they wanted to do – to pay it back. We’ve had tears of joy, we have had people just in total disbelief and ringing back again just saying we just want to thank them. It’s just a beautiful feeling. It was just magical.”

Since hearing of the couple’s donation, others have also stepped forward to pay for lay-bys. “Wow! Wow! Wow!,” Toyworld Bendigo wrote in a Facebook post. “What an incredible couple of days we have had. As most of you know it all started Wednesday with our amazingly generous Secret Santa’s, and has snowballed into lots of Secret Santa’s! With this added generosity we have been able to pay off even more lay-bys, that has bought our total off paid off lay-bys to 97.

“An additional 15 lay-bys just today! We cannot thank the generous people of Victoria enough. Your kindness has literally changed lives. Thank you from all of us at Toyworld Bendigo.”


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  • This is incredibly generous!! I hope those who have had their laybys paid off are incredibly grateful.


  • People really do surprise you in these tough times. They have made a lot of families happy this Christmas and I wish them both a Very Merry Christmas.


  • This is so kind. :)


  • I really appreciate this kindness.


  • This act of generosity seems to be happening more often. Very nice gesture.


  • warming


  • I saw this story on the news and it just filled my heart so much. What an absolutely beautiful gesture. If I won tattslotto, I think I would do this and share the love.


  • What an absolute amazing thing to happen, I wish I was able to do this for people ❤️


  • That’s such a lovely act of generosity! What an amazing couple


  • I hope one day to be in a position to do this sort of thing.


  • That’s just beautiful! Amazing human beings!


  • Wow, this is heartwarming and very generous indeed !

    • I hope that only those who really need it were blessed with it !


  • Some people are just so beautiful. True saints


  • I love seeing these stories. It seems to happen every year and I hope it continues each year. Such a wonderful gesture to people in need.


  • Absolutely touching especially at a time like this. Always great to think of others this time of year


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