Donor covers layaway balance for more than 400 families at East Memphis store

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — More than 400 families will have their Christmas layaways paid off thanks to a generous local philanthropist.

Avron Fogelman

Avron Fogelman, chairman of Fogelman Properties, covered the balance for 414 customers at the Burlington store in Eastgate.  Selected customers received calls to coordinate their layaway pick up.

This is the second time Fogelman has paid layaway balances at this Burlington location. In 2016, he was able to help over 400 people pay their remaining balances during the holidays, and in 2017 provided a special holiday gift to children of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Memphis.

"Burlington is extremely appreciative of Mr. Fogelman’s generous gesture in this gift to hundreds of our Memphis customers,” said Paul Mallett, regional vice president of Burlington Stores. “This time of year can be a struggle for so many families, but Mr. Fogelman’s gift will certainly bring smiles to the faces of many, and we are thankful for his act of kindness.”

The layaway payoffs cost Fogelman $25,000.

Some Burlington shoppers could hardly believe it Tuesday.

"I thought it was a joke at first," said Ann Cole who had a few of her items paid off.

But it was no joke.  Instead, shoppers say it was a gift.

"It was a gift from God," Jacqueline McMichael said as she picked up her items for her daughter and members of her church.

One shopper, Aubrey Houston who had his clothes paid for, said he was motivated to keep the trend going by giving to someone in need and paying off someone else's layaway.

"God blessed me so I'm going to bless somebody else, because that was unexpected to me," he said. "You have people who are remembering that it's about giving and showing love to other people, and that's what we are missing in our community and our world today, is love."

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