Volunteers manning Salvation Army kettles in Naperville found a valuable gold coin amid the pocket change.
A 1-ounce South African Krugerrand worth about $1,300 was dropped into a kettle at Casey’s Foods on Dec. 6, according to the group. Casey’s was the site of a Krugerrand donation last year and also had a donor match contributions.
“We are so grateful for the generosity of our wonderful donors,” Salvation Army Aurora Corps Capt. Antonio Romero said in a news release. “The money raised from these red kettles goes directly to help fund the programs and services right here in our communities, so this coin will go a long way toward helping our friends and neighbors in need.”
Over the course of more than 25 years, the Salvation Army has received more than 400 gold coins, according to the group. Money donated in the kettles stay assists people in need with food, shelter, after-school programs and disaster relief.
So far this season, the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign has brought in more than $3.3 million, down about 8 percent compared to this time last year, which officials are attributing to the shorter holiday season. The group’s goal is to raise $13 million and it will have kettles on the streets until Dec. 24. Donations can also be made online through Jan. 31 at http://www.salarmychicago.org.
By Melissa Jenco, Chicago Tribune reporter