'Secret Santa' Drops $5,500 in Red Kettle

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It's early in the Christmas season in the U.S. but the Salvation Army has reported they have already received a large donation from a secret Santa.

The Salvation Army in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., received 55 $100 bills when a man handed an envelope to the bell ringer at a K-Mart and told him, "Merry Christmas, and please remember me."

The bell ringer did not realize just how much cash had been dropped inside the red kettle until the end of the day. The Salvation Army said the $5,500 contribution is the largest single donation in the area so far this season.

"We are so grateful since we are up 30 percent in need and kettle donations have been flat at best," Kimberly George, a spokesperson from the charity organization's Chattanooga, Tenn., office told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Salvation Army red kettles, used to collect money for needy people, date back to 1891, according to the organization's website. But tough economic times have decreased the monies collected so far this year, officials have said.

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