Amid the ads, long lines, and mall parking lot battles, it's easy to forget that winter is the season of giving.

GIF via "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas."


And while the rest of us generously give to our friends and family (and to one or two charities) this time of year, a few anonymous donors are doing their part in a major way to keep the holiday spirit alive.

One man, known only as Santa B, recently paid off hundreds of layaway bills at two Pennsylvania Walmart stores, totaling nearly $160,000.

Managers at the Walmart stores in Mechanicsburg and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, both received visits from the generous donor, who presented them with cashiers checks for $79,000 each to cover the outstanding layaway balances their respective stores.

"He said he'd had a very successful business and wanted to give back to his neighbors in the community," Walmart manager Steven Myers told WGAL. He also said the generous donor even bore a passing resemblance to the jolly old elf.

GIF via WGAL-TV/YouTube.

And Santa B isn't the only one making holiday wishes come true this year.

Other anonymous donors across the country have paid off layaway bills at their local Walmart stores. One mystery donor paid off balances totaling nearly $100,000 at two stores in northeastern Ohio. And another donor in northern Florida made a $200,000 donation to cover layaway bills at stores in Gainesville and Chiefland.

Image via WGAL-TV/YouTube..


It should be noted here that the Waltons, the family of Walmart founder Sam Walton, have a combined net worth of $149 billion and easily could've done this with every single one of their stores and still had enough money left over to swim in Olympic-sized money pools. So while it's doubtful, I'm secretly hoping these generous donors are the Waltons in disguise. Or at the very least, that the Waltons see these stories and are inspired to give back to the minimum-wage workers and the shoppers that keep them living so comfortably.

Don't hold my breath, you say? Fair enough. Back to celebrating all of this holiday do-goodery.

Even the local police are getting in the giving mood.

An anonymous donor gifted the Hutchinson, Kansas, police department with $1,500 to give to people in need. The Local Fraternal Order of Police heard about the donation and matched it.

With the $3,000, officers have been stopping people randomly (and in some cases, surprising people with a known need) to make some holiday wishes come true. As if being randomly pulled over by a cop only to find out you aren't actually in trouble isn't gift enough.

"We’re just there to give him some money for the holidays, and you can really see it on their face, and [when] we give him the money, how happy they are," Officer Grant Ingram told local news station, KSN.

Photo via iStock.

Deputies near Tucson, Arizona, are handing out $100 bills to unsuspecting residents, thanks to a big donation from a former Secret Santa.

"'Secret Santa' is a guy who used to get on his motorcycle and give out $100 bills to people during the holiday season," Sheriff Chris Nanos told KVOA. "An accident left him unable to do that anymore."

So Santa passed the torch (and a $10,000 donation) to the Pima County Sheriff's Department, where deputies have the delightful task of making the season bright for people in the community.

Not Pima County's motorcyle-ridin' Secret Santa but close enough. Photo by iStock.

You don't need to be a millionaire (or even a thousand-aire) to make someone's day.

Whether it's paying it forward the next time you're in the drive-through, donating a winter coat to someone in need, or simply plugging a meter that's about to expire (so long as your city is cool with that), you too can be a hero this holiday season.


GIF via "Mean Girls."

(Just leave the whole "coming-down-the-chimney" thing to the pros, OK?)

See some of the smiling faces courtesy of Santa B in Pennsylvania in the video below:

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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