Calling it part of a "season of miracles," the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign in Jamestown exceeded its goal during the past holiday season, said Maj. Judy Lowder, corps officer.
"We received a gold coin worth over $1,000 and a silver buffalo coin and then an amazing donation of $40,000," she said. "It was one of those things that brought tears to my eyes."
Lowder said she first thought the amount was an error when she was asked to sign the receipt for the donation check.
"Tears flowed when I saw the amount," she said. "It was another miracle of the season."
Lowder said the Salvation Army does not publicly identify its donors.
The donations boosted the amount collected so far for the Red Kettle Campaign to $156,000, exceeding the church's $139,000 goal for its annual fundraising drive.
Volunteers rang bells at six kettle locations around Jamestown from about Nov. 18 through Christmas Eve. The drive accepts donations at the Salvation Army office and through the mail after that.
"We're still collecting through the mail," she said. "The total could go even higher."
David Bratton, a member of the Salvation Army local board of directors, called the drive this year and the donation that pushed it over its goal "awesome."
"Obviously, we had a need and someone stepped up to fill it," he said. "We can't express enough how much we appreciate the support we received."
Lowder said the Red Kettle Campaign is the principal fundraising effort of the Salvation Army through the year.
"It is a huge effort for us," she said. "We're excited that we are over our goal so we can provide the services people need in the community."
Lowder said the Red Kettle Campaign had faced difficulty recruiting volunteers to ring the bell at times this past holiday season.
"We're trying to think of new strategies for that next year," she said.