Families in Middle Georgia received a phone call from store managers and found out some of their Christmas was paid for this year.

Chris Floore, assistant to the county manager for public affairs, and other volunteers raised money and paid off families’ layaway lists at different stores in Middle Georgia.

Floore said the group has participated in Layaway Santa Middle Georgia for six years, and they have raised around $32,000 to pay off layaway lists during that time.

“We know that in our community with the poverty level being what it is that some families are struggling more than others, so we want children to have the same feeling we did when we woke up in the morning and … that gift we’ve been wanting all year long is under the tree,” Floore said.

This year Layaway Santa raised over $4,200 and paid for 45 lists.

“Every dollar could mean another toy under the tree,” Floore said. “We had one list that was for $10, and we had one list that was $300, which tells us that was probably their entire Christmas.”

Floore said local businesses also help raise money along with a GoFundMe page. Once they receive the funds, they work with store managers to pay off lists.

He said that although they do not know the names of the people they help, the managers go through the lists to make sure the money goes towards children’s clothes and toys. Jokingly, he said they are not buying people margarita machines.

“We saw that on a list a couple of years ago, so that’s become the running joke, ‘No margarita machines. Just children’s clothes and toys,’” he said.

Floore said he wanted to thank all of the people who donated money for Layaway Santa.

“All we do is just get the money and go pay for it,” he said. “The true thanks go to people who give the money every year because they’re the ones buying the toys for people.”