A Back-to-School Angel


Source of Screenshot of Joyce Beane:


At the end of August 2013, a woman who said that she was terminally ill and wanted to do a good deed walked into the Kmart of Auburn, Maine, and paid off the layaways of some families who had fallen behind in payments. Store Manager Joyce Beane said, “Everybody wants to go back to school with new clothes. Now 16 more families can do that.” Ms. Beane added, “She was here about 15 minutes. She paid off 16 of the layaways in cash, about $3,000.” The Back-to-School Angel then said, “I’m not feeling well — I need to leave.” Ms. Beane said, “It takes something like this, to make you think, ‘Oh, my word. If I were facing the end of my life, would I take time to reach out and help people?’” She added, “I wanted to cry.  It was that powerful.” Rina Thibeau, an Auburn grandmother who works nights as a janitor, was one of the people whose layaway had been paid off. She said, “It takes all kinds of people in this world. This lady proved there are still good people out there.” She added, “When I talk about it, it’s like a dream.” Ms. Beane said that “I think if we all, once a day or once a week, thought of doing something kind, there would be a lot less strife in our lives.” Something similar happened just before Christmas 2011; a man came into the Auburn Kmart and paid off every outstanding layaway balance. Ms. Beane said, “There are good people in the world. It’s nice to run into them every now and then.

For Further Information: Krister Rollins, “Terminally ill woman pays off strangers’ layaway orders.” NECN (New England Cable News). WCSH (Portland, Maine). 3 September 2013


For Further Information: Mark LaFlamme, “’Layaway Angel’ works magic at Kmart in Auburn.” Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal (Maine). 27 August 2013


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