Updated: 12/19/2013 10:50 PM
Created: 12/19/2013 9:42 PM KAALtv.com
By: John Doetkott
(ABC 6 News) -- Although the Salvation Army is still behind on their red kettle campaign, this weekend promises to be a big one thanks to some very generous donors.
On Thursday afternoon, Salvation Army officials announced that an anonymous group of donors will match donations, dollar-for-dollar, up to $2 million this Friday and Saturday. The gift will cover Salvation Army offices across Minnesota and North Dakota.
"We're very excited about that,” said Maj. James Frye with the Salvation Army in Rochester. “We want to make our goal and didn't know if we'd be able to do that, but this anonymous donor stepping forward as well as local merchants stepping forward is going to help the Salvation Army make that goal."
The donations can be made at the Salvation Army offices, online, or at the kettles.
And in Rochester the deal is even sweeter, with Think Mutual Bank and other donors also pledging to match donations, meaning every dollar given there will be tripled.
"In baseball a triple play is pretty rare, and this is also pretty rare too,” said Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede.
With donations down significantly this year due to the short shopping season, the news brought many within the organization a big sigh of relief.
"Oh my goodness, we could help so many people,” said Lt. David Amick with the Salvation Army in Austin. “We could increase our help with the food shelf, with the rent and utilities, there are just so many opportunities down here that we could use that money for."
Salvation Army officials across Southern Minnesota said they still have hundreds of bell-ringing hours to fill, and say those positions will be critical as they look to maximize donations heading into the weekend.
"We are down to the wire on our kettle run,” Lt. Amick said. “Next Tuesday at 3 o'clock is the last day for our kettles, so we are making a good hard push for this."