Reporting Rachel Slavik
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Someone is once again leaving generous donations in the Salvation Army’s red kettles. One-thousand-dollar donations have shown up in two red kettles in the north metro area.
It’s similar to last year when a donor, nicknamed St. Grand by the Salvation Army, left a total of $23,000 at several kettle locations.
Two years of bell ringing for the Salvation Army and Lee Zwiefelhofer has seen many different donations.
“Anything from 50 cents, I’ve seen people put in $20, but a dollar seems pretty common,” Zwiefelhofer said.
It’s the one he has yet to see that has him paying more attention to what people are putting into the kettles.
“I guess, from what I’ve heard, this is the place that’s been hit twice with the $1,000 or something like that,” he said.
For a second year in a row, an anonymous donor is dropping cash into the red kettles.
While most throw in change, this person leaves 10 $100 bills.
“I think it’s great. It wasn’t us,” said Sharon Halva, who donated to the red kettle on Saturday.
But the donor dubbed St. Grand is changing up the pattern this time around. Since November 17, they’ve donated twice to the same Cub Foods location in St. Anthony. St. Grand also started earlier; last year, the first donation came in on Nov. 29.
The Salvation Army also discovered a new mystery when counting this year’s donations. Someone also dropped bunches of $20 bills at the same Cub Foods. One donation was made up of 16 $20 bills.
Annette Bauer of the Salvation Army thinks the donor may be trying to make things interesting for her organization.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if these twenties were St. Grand mixing it up a little,” Bauer said.
Still not willing to reveal an identity even after $25,000, there is no mystery to the generosity of St. Grand.
“We’ve been talking about the fact that we really don’t want to know,” she said.
Last year, most of the donations were in the north metro, but one even came from International Falls. It also sparked a copy-cat donor who left a note and the same amount of cash in a kettle – saying they were inspired by St. Grand.