-- Christmas just got a lot brighter for the less fortunate of Minnesota.
The Twin Cities Salvation Army received the largest single donation they have ever received in the organization's iconic red kettles -- a check for an eye-popping $500,000 from a couple that once faced hard times, the Salvation Army said in a statement.
The donors, a Minnesota couple that wishes to remain anonymous, dropped the check into a red kettle outside of The Cub Foods in Rosemount on Saturday and said “they made the gift in hopes of encouraging others to give as generously as they can, too,” the Salvation Army said.
According to the Salvation Army, the donors faced money struggles of their own and would often rely on discarded food from a local 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,” the donors said in the statement.
The couple said their donation was was also meant to honor one of their fathers, who served in World War I and appreciated the donuts and coffee brought to soldiers by the Salvation Army Donut Girls.
Major Jeff Strickler, Twin Cities commander, said in the statement that the Salvation Army is “simply stunned and honored” to have received the gift, which is 20 times larger than the prior largest donation of $25,000.
He added: “This is a true blessing and it could not come at a better time for The Salvation Army and the people we serve.”
The Salvation Army has set a goal of raising $11.6 million during the Christmas campaign this year, and to date they have raised about $2.2 million, the Salvation Army said.