MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- The Salvation Army in Manhattan is thanking an anonymous donor who dropped a gold coin in one of their red kettles. But this isn’t the first time the stranger has left such a generous contribution.
Captain Theresa Meyer with the Salvation Army says she received a message on her voicemail from a caller who remained anonymous, tipping her off that a $1,800-$2,000 gold coin had been placed in the kettle at the Dillons grocery store on Westloop Place off of Anderson Avenue in Manhattan on Thursday, December 8th.
Meyer says the same caller has left her messages three years in a row.
“The previous Christmas seasons, we have also have received an anonymous tip from a donor that we would receive a gold coin in our kettle to watch out for it and it’s always been at Dillons on the west side of town the past three years. When we were counting our money in the bucket we discovered the gold coin in it,” she explained.
In past years, she says the coins have been worth around the same amount.
The money the Salvation Army gets from the coins is used to pay for toys and meals for the needy around the holidays and throughout the year, it helps less fortunate families make rent and utilities payments.
“We were very excited because that helps a lot of families out during Christmas and just helps our organization to help others in need so we were excited to see that. That gave us a much needed lift during our busiest time of year. Thank you whoever you are! We really appreciate it and we hope you have a very Merry Christmas. You’re helping a lot of people in need so thank you very much,” Captain Meyer added. She says the anonymous donor clearly understands that it's better to give than to receive.
Manhattan is not the only location a unique donation has been placed in a Salvation Army kettle. On November 30th, it was reported that a 3/4-carat diamond was left outside a Walmart in Shawnee, Kansas, worth $2,000. A $5,000 diamond ring also turned up in a kettle in Spokane, Washington wrapped in a dollar bill. Gold coins have been found in kettles in Illinois and Maryland.
Captain Meyer says every donation, no matter how large or small, helps the Salvation Army's mission to lend a helping hand and provide food and shelter for those who are struggling. The Red Kettle campaign raised more than $140 million last year.