CHRISTMAS was saved for 43 workers who lost £8,000 from their savings club.
The colleagues, from the Asda distribution centre in Washington, were left in despair when the cash went missing.
But the group – one of which was expecting £1,000 back – were spared a miserable holiday season when the Asda Foundation decided to replace the money.
A spokeswoman for Asda said: “Our Washington ADC colleagues work really hard and we didn’t want them to miss out on the Christmases they had planned with their families.
“The Asda Foundation stepped in and donated the money that was missing from the Christmas savings club. We’re unable to comment on individual colleagues.”
A worker who lost money in the savings club said: “It is a really nice thing that they did for us.
“They saved 43 people from a miserable Christmas, especially people like me, who have children to provide for.
“I want to thank them for that.”
The employees, a lot of whom were night-shift workers, were asked to go into the depot on December 24, between 11am and 3pm, to collect their money.
One worker told the Echo: “The savings club had been going for three years and this year the money was supposed to be handed out.
“I think Asda deserve some recognition for doing what they have done and giving us the money back.”
A member of staff from the distribution centre was arrested on suspicion of theft, and granted bail until next month.
A spokeswoman for Northumbria Police confirmed officers were investigating the allegation, made by an Asda employee.
She added: “A 43-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of theft and bailed pending further inquiries, following a call reporting the theft of cash from a savings club.”
The Echo understands the worker arrested is from the Hedworth area of Jarrow. It is believed the arrested man has not returned to work since he was questioned.