Fat wads of $100 bills are showing up yet again in Salvation Army red kettles in the Twin Cities, and officials with the charity said Wednesday that they remain stumped about who might be behind the yearly anonymous donations, which are nearing a $100,000 overall total since they began in 2011.
This is the sixth season of the secret drops being made, coming in increments of $1,000 or more, inspiring the Salvation Army to dub the generous soul “St. Grand.”
There have been six such gestures this month, with two of $1,200 each coming Tuesday in Roseville; one at the Cub Foods on Larpenteur, and the other at the Lunds & Byerlys on W. County Road C in Roseville.
The other four: Dec. 5, $12,000, location not determined; Dec. 7, $1,200, at the Lunds & Byerlys in Roseville; Dec. 8, $1,000, Cub Foods, Xerxes Avenue in Edina; and Dec. 9, $1,200, Cub Foods, Lexington Avenue in Arden Hills.
Since 2011 and including this season, St. Grand donations have totaled $96,002, said Salvation Army spokeswoman Julie Borgen.
Borgen said the charity is particularly grateful for St. Grand’s reappearance, since “our kettle donations are behind where we were at this time last year.”
The charity noted earlier this week that a slump in the number of volunteer bell ringers means it has collected $200,000 less in its red kettles this holiday season, compared to this time last year.
To volunteer, call the Salvation Army’s bell ringing hot line at 651-746-3519 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, or register online at SalvationArmyNorth.org/ring.