Angels in the Wal-Mart?

Fox23 News PhotoOne of the best parts of the cultural Christmas season is that the news is forced to cover some good things once in a while. In the midst of the “if it bleeds it leads” world, there is a seasonal desire to provide some evidence that all of humanity isn’t as bad as the top stories might indicate. Of course, there is unreported kindness and good every day of the year, but for these few weeks it is deemed worthy of a few precious moments on the nightly newscast.

Last night’s 10 pm newscast on our local Fox affiliate featured the story of an area woman, Pat Marciano, who tries every year to give toys, clothes and other gifts to a family in need. She has no children of her own, and this year, she’d chosen a displaced Albany family with 7 children to bless with a few gifts, even though she herself lives on a shoestring. One of the little girls really wanted a play princess crown, and it just blew me away as Marciano told the reporter, “Even if I had to take back my cat food I bought last week I was gonna get her this crown.” She was completely sincere.

The list made and hoping that she had enough money saved, she headed to Wal-Mart and made her choices. Read the rest from the transcript of Jeff Saperstone’s report:

In the days before Pat was to get the gifts she prayed she could pay for them all. Well it appears her prayers were answered inside a Wal-Mart store in Latham.

Marciano said, “And when the check didn’t clear I told her please try again. And she did and it didn’t clear. And I told her it wasn’t meant to be.”

But maybe it was. Pat had no idea the man right behind her in line was about to change everything.

Marciano said, “This gentleman just said, ma’am I’m going to pay for your Christmas.”

Jeanne Plew [cashier] said, “He handed me the money and said Merry Christmas.”

Marciano said, “I almost passed out. My knees went weak I almost crumbled, the lady propped me up.”

Plew said, “I believe it was a Christmas angel.”

That Christmas angel paid for one hundred dollars worth of gifts. Gifts that mean the world to Pat.

Marciano said, “I wanted to say thank you for making their Christmas because this is the one thing I really wanted to do for these people this year.”

In fact he was so generous after he paid for the gifts, he bought the Salvation Army Volunteer outside a hat and gloves.

In the comments after the story (not in the transcript), the reporter says that the gentleman only asked Marciano to “pay it forward” – which of course was her intention from the outset. This could just be written off as a cheesy holiday story, but something tells me there’s more to it. The faith angle here goes unexplored, but it’s clearly an undercurrent, and wouldn’t surprise me at all to know it’s the motivator for both Marciano and her ‘angel’ – and certainly is the spirit of blessing to that displaced Albany family whose little girl will get her princess crown in honor of the King of kings.

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