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Another gold coin brightens Salvation Army's Red Kettle donations

by: COURTESY OF THE SALVATION ARMY - Three Indian Head gold coins were dropped Monday into a Salvation Army Red Kettle somewhere in Hillsboro. The coins, which were minted more than a century ago, are worth an estimated $250 each. First it was three collectible gold coins. Now it's a $1,700 Krugerrand that was found Dec. 22 by Salvation Army staff in one of the group's Red Kettles.

The Salvation Army Portland Tabernacle staff discovered the Krugerrand Saturday evening while counting money from the kettles in Portland. The gold coin was dropped in a kettle outside Pioneer Place shopping center in downtown Portland.

"This is enough to provide over 60 families who are in need with an emergency food box, supply Christmas gifts for dozens of kids or send several kids to camp for a week next summer," says Lt. Ray Dihle, corps officer at The Salvation Army Portland Tabernacle.

The Krugerrand was discovered about six days after someone donated three Indian Head Gold coins in a Red Kettle at a Hillsboro-area Fred Meyer store. The coins are worth $250 each, giving the organization $750 toward its $900,000 fundraising goal.

Members of the Salvation Army Tualatin Valley Citadel in Hillsboro discovered the coins Monday night while sorting through the Red Kettle donations.

The Indian Head half eagle and quarter eagle coins were designed in 1908 and minted between 1908 and 1916. Quarter eagles were minted again from 1925 to 1929. The quarter eagle was originally worth $2.50. The half eagle was originally worth $5.

Salvation Army officials said the coins were found in collector cases and were donated anonymously. A day later, the Salvation Army’s third annual CEO Bell Ringing Competition raised more than $21,000 for the religious organization.

With just a few days left in the Red Kettle fundraising push, The Salvation Army has collected about $643,583, nearly 80 percent of its local goal. Nationally, The Salvation Army hopes to raise $3 million to fund its Christmas season gift and food program, and pay for its year-round services to poor and low-income people.

This isn’t the first time someone has dropped an expensive gold coin in a Red Kettle. Last year, someone left a Krugerrand worth more than $2,000 in a Portland-area kettle. In fact, each year, gold coins of all types are dropped into the kettles across the nation, say Salvation Army officials.

“Just a few weeks ago, someone put their diamond engagement ring in a kettle, and now three collector gold coins and this incredible CEO Bell Ringing event,” says Major Don Gilger, Portland metro coordinator with The Salvation Army. “We could not be more thrilled at the generosity of this community. Year after year, the Portland area surprises us with their good hearts, allowing us to serve so many more people.”

Kettles are on the street until Christmas Eve. The Salvation Army offers after-school programs, food and utility assistance, shelter services and other help to Portland-area low-income people and families.




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