Christmas came a little early this year for the bell ringers in eastern Iowa’s Black Hawk County. Someone dropped South African Krugerrand gold coin in a Salvation Army red kettle in front of a grocery store in Waterloo on Saturday. Sue Hennings, the development director for Cedar Valley Salvation Army, says the coin was wrapped in a dollar bill.
Hennings says not only was it an exciting day to get the coin, but she says it was a day when volunteers were handling the bells at the kettle. “The coin is beautiful,” Hennings says, “there truly is a Santa Claus.” Hennings says some type of coin is put in one of the kettles in the area each year. She says the person who drops the coin in the kettle is very secretive, and she says they’re never able to figure out who’s donating the coin despite the fact they’re looking for the coin.
Hennings says the special donation is something that makes all the work at the kettles a little more exciting. Hennings says they look forward to being able to find the coin, and says this year the coin came earlier than in the past. Last year a golden eagle coin was dropped in a kettle and that coin was appraised at 500 dollars.
Hennings says a check of gold prices shows the latest coin is worth over 600 dollars -but it could be worth more. Henning says the coin may have other value because it is in mint condition, and they plan to have it appraised. Hennings says the gold coin is a boost to an important campaign.
Hennings says, “You know, there’s never enough money.” Hennings says their programs run 365 days a year, but she says 52-percent of their budget is based on what they raise in the six week period of the red kettle campaign. Hennings says the red kettles will be out in their area through December 23rd.