Mystery donor drops gold coin worth $1.5K into local Salvation Army kettle

SHELBY, N.C. — The Salvation Army is thanking an anonymous donor for their Christmas spirit after someone dropped a gold coin into a red kettle in Shelby on Black Friday.

The organization said it received an anonymous tip that a "special gift" had been donated.

Officials found a 1915 Austrian 100 Corona gold piece in a kettle with a note that read, " Thank you for sharing the true joy, love and peace of Christmas with others throughout each year. It is my hope that this gift will encourage you, those you serve and others who give generously."

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The coin weighs one ounce and is worth around $1,500.

Mike Ledford and volunteers with New Bethel Church were manning the red kettles that morning. Ledford said he remembers helping someone push something thick into the kettle.

"A person came to the kettle holding a thick object wrapped in a dollar bill," he said. "I helped push it into the kettle -- it almost didn't fit. I know now it was a gold coin. I feel so good I was volunteering at the time. This money will go a long way in helping people."

The coin is the first one found in the Carolinas so far this year.

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Sgt. Les Ashby, of The Salvation Army of Shelby, said the tipster told him to use the gift to "help people and encourage others to give."

Ashby said the gift will do just that.

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"I would really like to thank the donor for the gift and beautiful message," he said. "You have certainly encouraged us and be assured your generosity will encourage and support others."

The Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign is the largest and oldest charitable foundation of its kind in the United States. Money raised is used to help provide help for local families in need.

Volunteer to ring bells at a red kettle here.