ELKHART — For local charities, Christmas has come early.
Bill Rieth, president of United Way of Elkhart County, announced Wednesday that a couple who wishes to remain anonymous has given $100,000 each to Faith Mission, Church Community Services and United Way of Elkhart County. He made the announcement at the United Way office.
He said the anonymous couple made a similar donations before, giving $200,000 to United Way of Elkhart County and $100,000 to Church Community Services in 2009.
Rieth said the couple hopes their generosity will inspire others to engage in random acts of kindness for their community.
“They recognize that times are still tough,” Rieth said.
For the couple, anonymity is an important part of the experience.
“We like to play the secret Santa thing because we hope others will catch the magic of giving at Christmas,” the man said.
Leaders from Faith Mission and Church Community Services said they got calls late last week inviting them Wednesday to the United Way.
“We had no idea what it would be,” said Mike Perez, development director for Faith Mission. He said it was the mission's largest single donation of this year.
CCS executive director Rod Roberson said donations were about the same as last year, but the need for services has grown.
“It's just absolutely astonishing to know the generosity of this community is so strong,” Roberson said.
Rieth said he got a call late last week from the donors.
“I teared up,” he said. “This is amazing.”
The donor said he and his wife had set aside money for tough times and decided to use some of those funds to help the community.
“It turns out these times aren't as tough for us as they are others,” he said.