"Secret Santa" drops $5,000 in red kettle - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

"Secret Santa" drops $5,000 in red kettle

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Sandy Leavell, Salvation Army’s Social Service Director, reacts after finding $5,000 in a red kettle. Sandy Leavell, Salvation Army’s Social Service Director, reacts after finding $5,000 in a red kettle.
A note was found with a stack of $100 bills in a Ft. Oglethorpe kettle. A note was found with a stack of $100 bills in a Ft. Oglethorpe kettle.
FORT OGLETHORPE, CATOOSA COUNTY -

(WRCB) – The Salvation Army got an unexpected surprise while emptying their famed red kettles Tuesday.

An anonymous donor slipped 50 $100 bills and a note into the kettle in front of the K-Mart on Battlefield Parkway in Ft. Oglethorpe.

The note read, "Do not remember me – May the peace of Christ be with you all. (that was the message last year )".

The Salvation Army says they found $5,000 in the same kettle last year.

But there have been other "Secret Santa" donations along Battlefield Parkway throughout the years. Thirty-five $100 bills were found in a kettle at the Battlefield Parkway Walmart in 2009.  In 2008, someone dropped $4,300 in the same kettle.

The note leads them to believe the donor might be the same person each year.

The Salvation Army staff came together to count the kettle money like they do every day, however, this time it was much different than any other day.  Sandy Leavell, Salvation Army's Social Service Director, found in her kettle basket several one hundred dollar bills!  "How incredible that someone would give such a significant donation! This will go a long way to meet a lot of need."  

"This donation is remarkable and serves as proof that greater Chattanooga area continues to be a caring and giving community," states Mayor Jim Coppinger, 2011 Honorary Christmas Chair.  "I am proud to be chairman of this year's Kettle Campaign.  Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far and I encourage folks to continue to support The Salvation Army this holiday season."

The Salvation Army Red Kettle donations go to help those in need of assistance during the holidays and into the New Year.  This year's Red Kettle goal is $385,000.00 for the Chattanooga and Cleveland areas.  

Donations are still needed in order to meet the need this Christmas Season.  Donations can be made through the red kettles, on-line at www.CSArmy.org, or mailed to 822 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, TN, 37403.  Volunteers are also still needed to ring the bells and sort Angel Tree gifts for families in need. Volunteers can register at www.RingBells.org.

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