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Mysterious benefactor leaves $1,000 bill in Salvation Army kettle

Sheldon Greenland displays the $1,000 bill donation at Hobby Lobby on Saturday.
William Wotring/The Dominion Post
Sheldon Greenland displays the $1,000 bill donation at Hobby Lobby on Saturday.

Sarah Woodrum showed up at Hobby Lobby to bell ring for The Salvation Army Saturday morning, but she never expected she would receive a $1,000 bill. When she found out her kettle was the one chosen for the donation, she was very excited.

“I am thrilled that I’m part of this tradition. I am here from 10 a.m. [Saturday] to 7 p.m. and I also did this last weekend. It makes being out here so worth it,” she said.

She said whether someone drops in a five dollar bill or pocket change, everyone has been so generous to The Salvation Army.

“Everyone has been in the Christmas spirit,” she said.

Lieutenant Sheldon Greenland and his wife Nicole from The Salvation Army unlocked the iconic red bucket and sifted through the donations. The $1,000 bill was wrapped in a $1 bill so nobody could have known who left the hefty donation.

This year marks 41 years of someone leaving the anonymous bill. The only information provided to The Salvation Army is where the bill will be dropped off.

“It is truly amazing that somebody would go out of their way to give us $1,000 every year, because every donation that’s given goes right back around into the community,” he said.

The Salvation Army serves around 120 meals every weekday throughout the year. They also provide social services and assistance with things like utilities for those who might need a hand.

The Salvation Army aims to raise $300,000 for Monongalia, Marion and Preston counties. Greenland said they’re nowhere near that goal.

“We’re down, and this is something that has not just been effecting our location but many other Salvation Army locations. I know that our community gives, and they’ve been very generous thus far,” he said.

One of their most well-known Christmas programs is the Angel Tree, where families sign up and the community gives gifts to kids. Around 1,500 kids in the three counties will receive gifts from the program. Greenland also said gifts go to nursing homes in the area.

The Salvation Army’s mission statement aims to help humanity in God’s name without any discrimination.

“Even if people don’t believe what we believe, we’re going to do the best that we can to help them, because that’s what we’re about,” he said.

“The Salvation Army is here to help people. Not to give them a hand out but a hand up.”

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