A Minnesota couple wishes to remain anonymous after they gave the largest single donation the Twin Cities Salvation Army has ever received: $500,000.
Around the winter holiday season, The Salvation Army has placed red kettles in public places for decades. At the time of the donation, a kettle was being managed by volunteers outside a Cub Foods supermarket in Rosemont, Minnesota, which is about 20 miles away from the Twin Cities.
Volunteers from the fire department were in charge of the container when the record-breaking check was received, according to NBC News. No one had realized such a substantial donation had been received until hours later, according to a representative for the Salvation Army Northern Division.
“The check did clear and was deposited in the bank,” said spokeswoman Julie Borgen, reports The Guardian. “They feel very strongly about the gift being anonymous.”
Throughout the St. Paul/Minneapolis greater metropolitan area, the organization places 575 kettles during the holiday season, each of which averages about $30 an hour. The previous record for the single largest donation received by the region was $25,000, which this check surpassed 20 times.
The couple stated that the donation was a way to give back and honor one of their parents, who served in World War I. According to the couple, he always enjoyed the Salvation Army “Doughnut Lassies” who gave free coffee and pastries to the soldiers during that time.
Although their check was substantial, the couple shared that they used to eat discarded food from a local supermarket when they were younger. They wanted to be able to help others now that they can afford to do so.
"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, according to a statement from the Salvation Army.
"We are simply stunned and honored to have received such a generous gift," said Major Jeff Strickler, commander for Twin Cities Salvation Army, reported CNN. "This is a true blessing and it could not come at a better time for The Salvation Army and the people we serve."