Bell Ringers Discover Unique Donations

This is a very special time of year for The Salvation Army. Every day until Christmas we’re able to witness the love and generosity of our red kettle supporters- folks who either give monetarily to help out their fellow community members in need, or donate their time and energy to ring bells for collections.

While typical contributions to our red kettles usually involve dollars and coins, on occasion, one of our 25,000 volunteer bell ringers will receive a donation that stands out. Last year’s mysterious donations included multiple South African Krugerrand coins worth around $1,100 donated in Colorado, Hawaii, and Louisiana; gold wedding bands in Indiana (sounds like a peaceful break-up); and a gold nugget family keepsake donated in Florida.

With the current state of the dollar, donations such as these might be worth holding onto…kidding!

We’re only eight days into The Salvation Army’s current Red Kettle Campaign and we’re already hearing stories about unique gifts from kettle passersby.

For instance, The Salvation Army of Chattanooga, TN received 36 $100 bills in one of their red kettles, calling the anonymous donation a “Christmas miracle” for an area experiencing significant increases in need. Check out the video from the Christian Broadcasting Network below:

Photo Courtesy of www.press-citizen.com


In Coralville, IA, a generous someone donated a dime-sized gold coin worth $200 – the same type of coin dscovered in the same kettle for the last four years! The coin was discovered by the bank the day after it was donated.

In Tyler, TX, an anonymous donor gave a 1/2 troy ounce American Gold Eagle bullion coin worth approximately $850.

Of course, you don’t need to give your most prized possession to the red kettle; The Salvation Army appreciates your spare change too!

Every donation contributes towards filling the need within your very own community. To learn more about The Salvation Army’s many programs, click here.

Do you have a story about a unique red kettle donation in your community? Tell us about it in the comments section below!


5 Comments on “Bell Ringers Discover Unique Donations

  1. It was Christmas, 1981; I was on my Christmas Assignment as a Cadet in San Angelo, TX. As part of my duties, would fill in at the various kettles around town and play Christmas carols on my trumpet. One particularly memorable day, an older couple pulled up in a beat up pick-up. He was in coveralls and a straw hat, she was wearing a print dress that looked home made. They put in a folded up check. That check was in the amount of $20,000 and I later learned from the commanding officer that they were local ranchers who donated this way every year. You can see a scanned photo of me at that very kettle on my facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1894755009763.110656.1268200859&type=1&l=6e8d61ff98

    Its the third picture in the album.

  2. This is awesome! Planning on doing some of my own donationg to the kettle this weekend at the mall!!! God Bless…

  3. Why do bell ringers smoke in front of Walmart during the Christmas season while ringing bells

  4. Hi Linda, we don’t have official policies for our bell ringers since most of them are volunteers, but we strongly encourage not smoking. Apologies for this negative experience. We certainly hope this does not deter you from supporting us in the future. Have a blessed Christmas.

  5. Donald- thank you so much for sharing! What a neat experience and photo. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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