For hours upon hours during the holidays, Salvation Army volunteers stand on streets across America, ringing that bell and calling passers-by to stop a moment, drop a bit of change in, and do some good. And once in a while, one of those people will drop a bit more than the change scraped out of the bottom of a purse. One officer was shocked and pleased to find not just a $100 bill in his red kettle, but also a gold coin worth $500 wrapped inside of it. Happy Holidays, eh?
The Star-Gazette says the coin was donated anonymously on Friday and discovered this week when volunteers went through the donations, said one volunteer who’s been working as an officer for 26 years and volunteering to man kettles for 35.
“I’ve never had a gold coin before. I’ve heard about them. When it happened someplace else, I always wondered, ‘Why not here?,’ ” he said. Why not, indeed?
The American Eagle came wrapped in a memo note with the $100 bill that read: “This coin is solid gold and worth around $500. God Bless.”
It’s not totally uncommon for gold coins to show up red kettles, as around 400 have been found since the first donation on record from 1982 in Crystal Lake, Ill. says a Salvation Army public relations director.
She says she gets excited every year waiting for when the first gold coin will appear.
“It’s phenomenal. It’s something that is fun,” she said.
That $100 bill-as-wrapping-paper was a nice touch, too.