FARMINGTON, Maine — Hoping for a few dollars or maybe just some change for the Children’s Miracle Network, a local store clerk was shaken when the customer handed over $7,284 in cash.
Clerks at the Irving Circle K Big Stop on the Wilton Road are grateful for any and all donations, but this unusual gift from an anonymous donor left the clerk a “little beside himself,” Farmington Police Officer William Tanner said.
Police were called Tuesday, according to company policy, and because most of the money was in $100 bills with a few $20s, he said.
The Big Stop is conducting an annual appeal for the Children’s Miracle Network, which aims “to help as many children as possible by raising funds for children’s hospitals and to keep the funds in the community in which they were raised to help local children,” according to its website.
Founded by Marie Osmond, her family and others in the mid-1980s, the organization, based in Utah, had raised $4.3 billion as of 2011. Most of it was donated a dollar or two at a time.
Each year, clerks at Irving’s Big Stop and other convenience stores ask customers for donations. Donors are given paper symbols, red and yellow “miracle” balloons.
The Farmington clerk Monday night made an appeal to the man and explained what the program was about, Tanner said. The clerk asked if he would like to give a $1 donation to the charity.
The middle-aged man went out to his vehicle and came back with $7,200, but he didn’t stop there. He reached into his pocket and took out $84, Tanner said after watching a store video.
Police did not recognize him and Tanner could not see the license plate on his red Dodge Dakota. The bills were legitimate and were not identified as stolen money, he said.
On the paper balloon on the Children’s Miracle Network poster hanging near the checkout, the man wrote, “To all God’s children, from ???”
“It’s just nice to know there’s good people out there,” Tanner said.
He said the store clerk might have won a trip as a result of the donation. Employees raising the most receive prizes, he was told.
The store manager and employees were all smiles Wednesday but could not comment, according to company policy. Calls to the Circle K corporate office were not returned.
One employee left a sticky note on the poster, saying, “I think we may have met our goal.”
The store’s goal was to raise $1,420.
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