NOBLESVILLE — The Salvation Army of central Indiana is a little bit closer to reaching its fundraising goal this year after an anonymous donor dropped a pricey gold coin into one of their Red Kettles this week.
Volunteers found a 1915 100 Corona Austrian gold coin valued at around $1,500 nestled in the donations from outside the Noblesville Walgreens last Saturday, December 7.
"It is really cool," said James Bond, who was ringing the bell that day. "I hear about that stuff in the news, but now it's with me, so I feel like I'm part of this big thing that people really care about. I first started ringing because I just needed a job, but when they said we are the army behind the Army, it just made sense to me that I can ring a bell and make a difference. I like raising as much as I can because it means The Salvation Army gets to help more people who need it."
The Salvation Army says there's quite a history of unusual and valuable donations being made in their Red Kettles. Everything from gold coins to wedding rings and even a gold tooth has been donated throughout the years. The Salvation Army takes those donations and turns them into more funds for their local programs.
In 2017, the Salvation Army of Evansville got a late-season boost after someone anonymously donated a 1970 South African gold Krugerrand into their kettle which was worth more than $1,000.
"I've been a part of the red kettle campaigns since I was 13, and this is the first time in my life that I have ever seen a gold coin," said Lieutenant Vinal Lee, pastor at The Salvation Army Fountain Square Corps Community Center. "I am always impressed with how generous people are to The Salvation Army. It's donations like gold coins that empower us to fight for good all year long. These coins get transformed into meals, nights of shelter, and chances for recovery. They become a seed of hope for countless families in central Indiana."