'I've never had anybody do this': Coin worth $1,300 dropped in Salvation Army Red Kettle

Lt. Christopher White, Corps Officer with the Salvation Army was shocked to find out that someone put a valuable rare coin in his red bucket. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

For many, a ringing bell and a familiar red bucket outside of a grocery store or a favorite retailer is a sign of the winter season and an easy way to give back to the community with spare change. One unidentified stranger in Jefferson City, Missouri, however, was more than generous with their coin donation.

Lt. Christopher White, Corps Officer with the Salvation Army, said that he has never seen anything like what he experienced before, certainly not in Jefferson City, according to KOMU.

“They told me that there was something really special in one of the buckets and I couldn’t quite believe it when I saw it,” he told the outlet. 

Charles Clark, who has been ringing a bell for the Salvation Army for five years, received a rare donation — an uncirculated 1998 American Eagle One ounce Gold Proof coin. The coin is currently valued at $1,300.

Beyond the monetary value, White believes there’s a deeper meaning behind the donation. “What I’m telling my bell ringers and my volunteers is that it’s a real sign of approval,” he said. “It’s a great sign of support for the Salvation Army and for the work that we do here, and also our Christmas campaign this year.”

The money raised from the red kettle isn’t just for the foundation’s Christmas services, it is used throughout the year. “We have a 31-bed shelter here in town, a food pantry, utility, rental assistance program and many others as well,” White said. While the Salvation Army does not know who made the donation, White said they are grateful. 

Bellringer Clark is hoping it happens again, but regardless, he plans “to ring bells for Salvation army, next year and years to come.”

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