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$10,000 check in California Salvation Army kettle: Merry Christmas

December 24, 2011 | 11:45 am

Anonymous donor gave $10,000 check to Menlo Park Salvation Army
An anonymous donor outside a Safeway in Menlo Park on Friday dropped more than a few quarters into a red Salvation Army donation bucket -- a $10,000 check made its way into the kettle.

The donation was a record for the organization’s Redwood City Corps, breaking the previous mark of $5,000 set only three days earlier, according to a report by the San Jose Mercury News.

A representative of the Redwood City Corps told the newspaper that the donations were "a tremendous blessing" that were especially helpful because of possible budget cuts.

Financial problems already forced the group to initially abandon its plan to give toys to 1,000 youths during the holidays, but residents came to their aid and made the toy drive possible, the Mercury News reported.

Also this holiday season, an anonymous donor put a $2,000 diamond-and-sapphire ring into a Salvation Army kettle in Miami, according to Reuters. The ring was tucked inside a $50 bill. And another $2,000 diamond ring was plopped into a Kansas City, Kan., Salvation Army bucket.

Before the two checks totaling $15,000, the largest donation to one of the red kettles run by the Redwood City Corps during the holidays was $1,000.

Meanwhile, at Newport Beach's Fashion Island, Salvation Army workers have agreed to silence their bells.  The bell ringers -- their job title -- are complying with a Fashion Island request to keep it quiet, according to the Daily Pilot:

"You have to comply because we solicit on their premises,"said Salvation Army Maj. Antonio Orta.

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--Ari Bloomekatz

Photo: Linda Hardenbrook rings a bell for the Salvation Army at Woodland Mall in Bowling Green, Ohio. Salvation Army is a holiday fixture outside shops around the country. In Menlo Park, someone donated $10,000.  Credit: J.D. Pooley / Associated Press

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