A gun-wielding robber swiped a red Salvation Army (search) kettle from a collector in front of a supermarket, police said.

Volunteer Jerlene Howard said she was ringing her bell to solicit donations from shoppers Friday night when a man wearing a scarf over his face got out of a car and demanded the kettle. He "had a gun and he told me not to say anything," she said.

The man then got back into the car, which was driven by an accomplice, police said. Howard was not injured.

Howard said her kettle was "kind of heavy," but she didn't know how much money was inside. She has collected up to $135 a day in the past.

The Salvation Army's annual Red Kettle (search) fund-raising drive helps buy food for the homeless and toys for poor children.