A $500,000 donation to the Salvation Army over the weekend was the largest ever single kettle donation in the Minnesota Twin Cities area. A Minnesota couple reportedly dropped a large personal check into a Twin Cities Salvation Army kettle when firefighters weren’t looking. The $500,000 donation will help the Salvation Army reach their goal of nearly $12 million this holiday season, according to NBC News on Monday.
The Salvation Army kettle where the $500,000 donation was found is stationed at a Cubs Foods grocery store in Rosemount, Minnesota, a suburb of Twin Cities. Firefighters from Rosemount were manning the red kettle over the weekend when a Minnesota couple somehow managed to make the $500,000 donation without anyone immediately noticing. Hours later, the firefighters stumbled across the large donation, which was 20 times larger than Salvation Army’s largest Twin Cities donation to date.
Julie Borgen with the Salvation Army Northern Division said the couple chooses to remain anonymous. Borgen said the Salvation Army was “floored” by the amount of the donation. The $500,000 donation was apparently the couple’s way of giving back to the Salvation Army and honoring one of their fathers who served in the first World War. In a statement to the Salvation Army, the couple also admitted that at one time they had to live on discarded food from a grocery store. “You get to a point in life where it’s time to take care of others, the way you were taken care of,” said the donors.
The Minnesota couple wants their large donation of half a million dollars to encourage others to be generous during the Holidays. The Salvation Army hopes to raise $11.6 million dollars in three months from the first of October through the end of December. Borgen said that goal is a real possibility now, saying the Salvation Army was almost exactly $500,000 behind where it needed to be thus far in donations. Twin Cities Salvation Army commander, Major Jeff Strickler, said in a quote on CNN that the $500,000 donation to the Salvation Army is a “true blessing and it could not come at a better time.”
The Salvation Army is a charitable organization founded in London in 1865 by Catherine and William Booth. The organization’s 1.5 million members work in 127 countries to bring salvation to the hungry and destitute through donations. The largest individual gift ever given to the Salvation Army was a $1.5 billion dollar donation left by Joan Kroc’s passing in 2003. Salvation Army kettles generally take in about $30 an hour. Comments from the public regarding this past weekend’s $500,000 donation to the Salvation Army were generally positive, saying the Salvation Army deserves it for all the hard work they do throughout the year to meet both the physical and spiritual needs of the poor.