BRISTOL, Conn. (WTNH) — Ring, ring! A good Samaritan in Connecticut just got his wings!
Bell ringers in Bristol are counting their blessings after finding three gold coins worth thousands in a Salvation Army red kettle.
On Nov. 27, a good Samaritan slipped the generous donation into the kettle at a Price Chopper in Bristol.
Not wanting bell ringers to mistake them for normal coins, he later called the Salvation Army anonymously to tell them to be on the lookout.
“We were so surprised and amazed when we found the coins,” said Captain Sharenna Echavarria, Corps Officer at The Salvation Army in Bristol. “We are extremely blessed by the generosity of this donor.”
And that generous gift turned out to be more than the Salvation Army could imagine.
The Krugerrand coins, which were from South Africa, were appraised at $4.050.
“This is the first time I’ve ever seen a gold coin in one of our kettles in 30 plus years as a Salvation Army officer,” said Major Gregory Hartshorn, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army in CT & RI.
Hartshorn said the coins have been found in the midwest before but never in Connecticut.
“Here we had not one, but three were found in our backyard in Bristol,” he said. “We are so humbly grateful.”
In 2018, Hartshorn was working in Boston when he found something unusual inside a kettle: jewelry.
“When people put jewelry in, we often get a note, in a Ziploc baggie it’s about a loved one that passed away and they don’t need it anymore and they want to help others.”
This season, he said they’ve also had people slip in antique coins and a liberty half dollar.
The red kettle donations help fund programs and services for the homeless, like shelter, feeding the hungry, making Christmas bright, and meeting the greatest need.
“Anything that people want to give us to help us help others, for not only the Christmas season but throughout the year, we are welcome to receive it and put it to good use,” Hartshorn said.
Bell ringers will be out across the country until Dec. 24.