SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A number of people are going to have a very Merry Christmas thanks to the generosity of one local family who wanted to honor a beloved Surfside Beach Walmart employee.
That family, who wished to remain anonymous, paid off roughly $12,000 in layaways that were left in the store. According to information from Walmart’s corporate office, the donation covered about 60 people.
This particular holiday gift was given in honor of Frank Coppola, who worked at the area Walmart for 20 years. He passed away this July.
The donor said generosity was just in Frank’s nature, noting he’d always bring two plates and two sets of silverware with him to work in case one of his colleagues didn’t have something to eat during their break.
When thinking about the best way to honor Frank, the donor thought about the layaway program, saying the 15th of the month was the deadline for paying for those items before they went back on the shelves.
The family went in on Dec. 15 to make their donation. As it turns out, it would have been Frank’s 78th birthday.
“He always felt bad about the gifts that went back on the shelves,” the donor said.
Despite retiring on July 12, 2017, Frank’s impact on his Walmart coworkers is still evident. His former colleagues glowed as they talked about the man who started in the meat department and eventually moved to electronics.
“Frank was a very outgoing personality, great sense of humor,” store manager Bill Argenti said.
Now, a holiday gift has made the season a lot brighter for many, something those who knew him said Frank would have wanted.
“It just brought back a lot of joy, a lot of joy with the associates,” assistant manager Felicia Terrell said of the donation.