MELBOURNE, Fla. – Don't call this a mere drop in the bucket.
An anonymous donor or donors stuffed nearly $10,000 in crisp $100 bills into the Salvation Army's red kettles across Brevard on Tuesday.
The donations, which Salvation Army officials believe came from a single donor, thrilled the group, whose bell ringers have become synonymous with Christmas. All the $100 bills were folded the same way. The amounts per kettle ranged from $500 to $1,000, Local 6 News partner Florida Today reported.
"That was the most exciting thing," said Kathy Mardirosian, Red Kettle coordinator for Salvation Army North Central Brevard Corps. "Somebody went from Viera all the way to Cocoa Beach."
Mardirosian said donations usually come in denominations of $1, $5 and $10, with a few $20 bills, checks and lots of coins. So the $100 bills attracted attention.
The Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign provides critical funding for the organization, which offers social services throughout the year.
"It's a miracle," said Capt. Angel Calderon, executive director of the North Central Brevard Corps. "We are in shock. I think it's the first time in my years in the Salvation Army."
Calderon said the kettle campaign provides a better Christmas for many local families and feeds and helps needy families.
"With that is what we operate the rest of the year," Calderon said. "I want to say thanks to the North Central Brevard Community."
The organization operates a soup kitchen and is in the process of building another in Titusville. It also operates a shelter for the homeless and other programs in Brevard.
Calderon said the nearly $10,000 will go a long way toward helping local families, and he is appreciative of the thoughtful donor.
"I want to tell him or her thanks for such a generous donation that will help us help the community," he said.