Businesses are hoping to raise more money for this year’s Layaway Santa

The goal is to raise $10,000 this year. Six businesses are participating in Layaway Santa.

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)  – We are at the start of the holiday season, and with that comes the spirit of giving.

“Everybody looks at Christmas as a time to receive gifts, but so many do give and if you’re able to give, you should,” Famous Mike’s owner Mike Seekins said.

This year marks the 5th year for Layaway Santa.

“It started off as a group of friends who wanted to pay off layaways for our neighbors, strangers and people we don’t know, at different stores. It’s just a way to give back at Christmas time,” Molly Wilkins, who’s a volunteer with Layaway Santa, said.

However, it’s Famous Mike’s third year giving back to the community (with Layaway Santa) that gives so much to the restaurant.

“I don’t know how to describe it. You just know good things are going to happen when people give and you’re a part of something like that,” Seekins said.

Every year Famous Mike’s takes part in Layaway Santa, it gets better every time.

“I’d like to raise $500 at this location. We raised about $150 last year. We were out in the middle of no where, so down here where we’re at I think $500 is a reasonable goal,” he said.

Customers can put a couple bucks in the donation bucket at participating locations. The money donated will go to stores to pay off layaways, specifically those with toys and children’s clothes.

“It’s just something special you get from being able to help out strangers. We don’t meet any of these people. We don’t know them, but it’s nice to know that somebody’s going to get a phone call saying ‘hey, your layaway is paid off. Come pick it up,’ and their Christmas is taken care off,” Wilkins said.

With a little holiday spirit, you can bring holiday cheer to others.

“The nice thing about Macon and this community is that people are always so eager to get involved and help out. It’s one of the magical things about living here,” she said.

The goal is to raise $10,000 this year. Six businesses are participating in Layaway Santa.

Advanced Dental Arts
(4705 Northside Drive)

Bonefish Grill
(5080 Riverside Drive)

Central Georgia Vein Center
1062 Forsyth Road, Suite 2D

Famous Mikes of Macon
(524 Poplar Street)

Joe D’s on Ingleside
(2329 Ingleside Avenue)

Travis Jean Emporium
(522 Cherry Street)

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Tanya comes all the way from Chicago, Illinois. She’s a city girl that’s excited to be a part of Middle Georgia’s community and tell your stories! She received a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Columbia College Chicago. She also spent a few semesters studying at San Diego State University. While in college, she interviewed Joan Rivers before she passed away, was on the red carpet for the movie premiere of “Chiraq” and also interned with ABC7’s investigative reporters and Bill Kurtis. Tanya spent nearly 2 years reporting in Billings, Montana where she covered a lot of politics and agriculture. In her spare time, Tanya is a sports fanatic, so even though the Chicago Bears and Bulls didn’t know how to win this season, she still roots for them. You can guarantee you’ll run into her at the gym every day. If you do, stop by and say hi! Share your stories with her and don’t be surprised if she’s hiding chocolate chip cookies in her gym bag.