What a wonderful way to start off the holiday season.
A very generous anonymous donor slipped a big wad of cash – totaling $10,000 – into a Salvation Army red kettle on Saturday outside a Lunds grocery store in Bloomington, the Star Tribune reports.
It's the largest single cash donation ever to the red kettle campaign, according to a Salvation Army spokeswoman.
This is the fourth year in a row that a donor has made contributions of $1,000 or more to red kettles around Minnesota. Salvation Army officials refer to the person as "Saint Grand," although they don't even know if it's just one person or more donating the money.
“This is an amazing gift,” said Maj. Jeff Strickler, the Salvation Army’s Twin Cities commander, according to the Star Tribune. “This person quietly makes the most generous donations, and we are blown away by this one in a single kettle.”
The large donation wasn't discovered until the end of the day when the kettle was emptied. The bell ringer had no idea who the donor was, because it was quite busy, according to Salvation Army spokeswoman Julie Borgen, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. "He's really just amazed people have the heart to give so much."
Despite the big gift, red kettle donations are lagging so far this year, Borgen said. So far they've collected $600,000, which is down from the $800,000 at this time last year.
Corporate and online donations have increased this year, but don't make up for the decline in cash donations, said Borgen.
The organization hopes to collect $3 million in its kettles by the end of the year.
To volunteer or to donate online, go to SalvationArmyNorth.org.