NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Some lucky military families had their layaway purchases paid off at various NEX locations this holiday season, including the NEX in Norfolk.
Pay Away the Layaway Inc., a nonprofit, paid off layaway balances for 700 families at the NEX Norfolk, Virginia; NEX San Diego; NEX Pearl Harbor; NEX Charleston, South Carolina; and NEX Orlando, Florida, the U.S. Navy wrote in a news release.
The families at NEX Norfolk and NEX Charleston had their layaways paid by Pay the Layaway and its featured sponsor, Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey.
The layaway balances of the 700 families totaled nearly $133,000 this year.
Since 2016, NEX layaway balances totaling nearly $400,000 have been paid for military families.
Montel Williams, a former U.S. Marine and U.S. Navy lieutenant commander, and Ulysees Gilbert III, a linebacker with the Pittsburgh Steelers, surprised the families with the news through a video.
“I have five kids … you always see this on TV, but you never think it’ll happen to you,” said Navy spouse Albertine Griffin in the Navy news release. “I thought (NEX Norfolk) was calling me because I missed a payment.”