Anonymous donor drops gold coin in Reno Salvation Army red kettle

The gold 1979 Krugerrand coin that was dropped in a kettle at the Walmart on 4855 Kitezke Lane in Reno. (Courtesy: Salvation Army of Reno)

The Salvation Army of Reno recently received a unique donation in one of its red kettles.

While counting all of their cash donations collected from Thursday's bell ringing efforts, Salvation Army staff discovered a gold 1979 Krugerrand coin that was dropped in a kettle at the Walmart on 4855 Kitezke Lane in Reno.

The coin is worth more than $1,200.

“I’m shocked and pleased to have this blessing in our red kettle.” said Major Charles Fowler, Washoe County Salvation Army Reno Corps Coordinator. “We find unusual items in our kettles from time to time. Most have no value. This one, however, is a tremendous boost to the bell ringing campaign. Whoever this donor is, I just want to say thanks for the helping us and this community.”

The Salvation Army says this is the third consecutive year in which a Reno kettle has received such a gift. Last Christmas season, a gold 1979 Krugerrand coin was put into the kettle. In 2015, two rare coins were each wrapped in $100 bills.

The Salvation Army says the Red Kettle campaign is currently down 13 percent compared to the income raised last Christmas season. The Reno Corps has had a goal of $285,000 for this year's campaign.

Donations collected in The Salvation Army kettles help to support local programs like the Christmas assistance program, year-round food assistance and other vital social services and youth programs. The Red Kettle campaign in Reno will conclude on December 23.

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