Mystery donor leaves valuable gold coin in Springfield Salvation Army kettle

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Salvation Army of Springfield is hundreds of dollars closer to their $1 million fundraising goal thanks to a gold coin found inside one of their red kettles late last week.

The ½ ounce American gold coin is valued at $697. It was found in a kettle that at HyVee Friday night.

“You never know how God will provide the funding we need in order to continue our programs and services,” Salvation Army Major Butch Frost said in a news release. “There are so many different ways to give and this is a good example of that.”

It’s the largest donation they’ve received in their kettles in years.

“Most people stop by a bucket and they'll drop a dollar or two, whatever they have in cash on them in the bucket,” Salvation Army Lt. Jared Collins said. “Every penny counts. It all adds up and helps us reach our overall goal.

“Donations are the only way we're able to operate. Without donations we wouldn't be able to do things locally like our Harbor House which houses 30 guys per night, or our family enrichment center that houses families and women.”

Collins says they’ll likely sell the coin to a reputable dealer in town.

It’s hardly the only surprising item they’ve found in one of their kettles. If it fits in a pocket, it’s probably ended up there.

“We receive a lot of strange things in our kettles,” Collins said. “Sometimes we get pills, receipts, and lint and all sorts of stuff.

“Last year we found a human tooth, which was probably the grossest thing I've ever seen.”

Salvation Army leaders say they don’t know who donated the coin, which was inside a protective bag and wrapped inside a $10 bill.

“It was very anonymous and we have no idea,” Collins said. “But, we're very thankful for it.”