Just when Major Harold Poff at The Salvation Army Ft. Wayne Corps thought his Red Kettle goal would be out of reach this year, a very large, or rather two very large donations came in.

On Tuesday, Major Poff received not one, but two checks in the amount of $100,000 each.

“I sat there at my desk when he handed me the checks and was just speechless—literally I was struck dumb,” Major Poff said. “I just sat there and stared at the zeros. I’ve never seen that many zeros before on one check let alone two.”

The story behind the donations is a great example of the cycle of giving coming around full circle.

When the donor was a young child, his family was assisted by the Salvation Army at Christmas time. As an adult, the man has passed that giving forward.

“He’s worked with the Army before and has acted as an honorary chairman,” Major Poff said. “He’s pretty well-known by the folks here.”

But really, this man’s check is the result of the other…

“Well, he (the donor) was traveling with a friend and they were talking about the changes in tax laws, mainly charitable deductions,” Major Poff said. “The man told his friend that if he intended on making a large gift that he should think of The Salvation Army.”

The donor got up for a minute and when he returned, his friend handed him a check made out to The Salvation Army in the amount of $100,000. The donor then wrote a check himself for the same amount.

“We were hurting pretty bad prior to these donations — the kettles were behind. The mail was behind,”Major Poff said. “That was right on time for us.”

In central Indiana, kettles are a little more than 50 percent to the Tree of Lights goal. As of Tuesday, The Salvation Army raised just $1,697,016 of its $3.3 million goal.

“We’re running a little bit behind, but we know the generosity of this community, and we trust that the good people of central Indiana will once again come through to help us serve their neighbors in need in 2013,” said Major John Turner, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army in Indiana.

There is still time to donate to The Salvation Army’s 2012 Tree of Lights Campaign both in Indianapolis and Ft. Wayne.  You can give at any Red Kettle through Christmas Eve.  You can also mail a check to The Salvation Army of your choice, donate online or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY.  The money donated stays right here in Indiana, and is used to serve our neighbors in need.