Aside from the probable assortment of trash, lint and other detritus that we all understand wind up at the bottom of the little red pails used by the Salvation Army to collect donations during the Christmas season, one small town mall in Vermont has been the scene of what seems to be extraordinary generosity. According to the Rutland Herald:
For the third year in a row, an anonymous donor left a rare coin in a kettle located outside Jo-Ann Fabrics in the Berlin Mall.
On Monday, a gold coin, minted in 1910, was left in the kettle outside the store — the same location a secret Santa used two years ago. In 1910, the coin was worth two and a half dollars; Salvation Army officials are not sure what the coin is worth today.
But this largesse has not been limited to Northeast. As reported by VZW Today (Verizon Wireless' news service for mobile phone subscribers), Salvation Army pails this year have netted:
- a 1911 Liberty Eagle gold coin worth about $1,000 (outside of a Fort Meyer, Florida grocery store)
- a diamond ring worth around $2,000 (Uniontown, Pennsylvania)
- a gold American buffalo coin valued at approximately $1,000 (northeastern Kansas)
The Salvation Army finds buyers for the deposited items and uses the proceeds to do their good work. William Booth, the organization's founder, would be proud to know the kind of generosity the group inspires.