Chicago Cubs player Dexter Fowler pays off families' layaway tabs

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Chicago Cubs Dexter Fowler tells families that he's picking up their layaway bill. (WLS)

Cubs player Dexter Fowler surprised 43 families at a Kmart in Chicago on Wednesday by paying off their layaway tabs, helping them with the expensive cost of back-to-school supplies.

"It almost brings tears to my eyes," Dexter said after he surprised the families. "Like I said, it's awesome to do that and be in a position to do that."

The center fielder's Fowler's Howlers organization donated $5,000 to pay for the layaway bills at the Kmart store on West Addison Street.

"I didn't have no idea," said Shinette Phipps, whose layaway was paid off. "I got the phone call yesterday and I came during my lunch break at work."

"My husband is a Cubs fans. So I called him. He was like, 'I should have gone with you.' But he was with the kids at home," said Vanessa Cosme, another lucky recipient.

Fowler got the idea from his wife.

"I remember Dexter was telling me about his childhood: 'My mom had these things on layaway.' And I was like, 'What's layaway?'" said his wife Aliya Fowler. "I knew this was something that really hit home for him. So it was really fun that I could get him involved."

Fowler just wanted to make things easier for parents.

"It is a blessing," said Joana Pelayo. "I mean, not a lot of people win. Not a lot of people are nice enough to do things like this."

Click here for more information about the Pay Away the Layaway program
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