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Donors leave $500,000 check at Salvation Army kettle in Rosemount, MN

This check for $500,000 was left at a Salvation Army red kettle in Rosemount, Minn., on Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Salvation Army)

A Minnesota couple dropped a $500,000 check in a Salvation Army red kettle at a grocery store in Rosemount, Minn., on Saturday, the charity reported.

The check left in a kettle at a Cub Foods store is the largest single donation made at a red kettle in the Twin Cities area.

“We are simply stunned and honored to have received such a generous gift,” Maj. Jeff Strickler, Twin Cities Salvation Army commander, said in a news release. “This is a true blessing and it could not come at a better time for the Salvation Army and the people we serve.”

The couple wishes to remain anonymous, the Salvation Army reported. In a news release, the charity offered the following information about why the couple made the donation:

"The anonymous donors say they made the gift in hopes of encouraging others to give as generously as they can, too. Also, they wanted to honor one of their fathers, who served in the trenches in World War I, and was always grateful to the Salvation Army Donut Lassies who brought soldiers free coffee and donuts. That simple act of kindness and comfort made a lasting impression and created a family legacy of supporting The Salvation Army.

"Plus, when they were a young couple, the donors say money was so tight, they would often rely discarded food from the local grocery store. Today, they can afford to help others in need.

“ '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."

The previous largest single red-kettle donation in the Twin Cities was $25,000.

Red kettles are out at locations around Minnesota -- including many stores and other venues in the Northland -- as the Salvation Army's annual fundraising campaign is well underway.