The season of red-and-green has again turned gold in the Omaha-Council Bluffs area. Susan Eustice, of the region’s Salvation Army chapter, says someone dropped a gold coin — a South African Kruggerand — in a red kettle outside an Omaha K-Mart this week. Eustice says it’s a valuable treasure.
"On the gold market, it’s worth about 230 to 250-dollars or so but because it was in a special sealed case and stapled, we believe it’s not in circulation, therefore it may be a little bit more valuable," she says, "we’ll hold on to it and consider it a great boost to the campaign."
That campaign is raising money for a host of programs in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa to benefit people who are elderly, homeless and lower-income. Eustice says the gold coin is proof there are very generous people in the region.
She says no Krugerrands have appeared in Omaha/Council Bluffs for at least ten years, adding: "I remember in 1997-98, someone anonymously donated to our Salvation Army kettles, $1,000, ten individual $100 bills, folded and paper-clipped together, two different years. We received that donation and were just thrilled."
Eustice says one thing that is becoming more common is to find women’s wedding rings in the red kettles, what she says are reportedly generous donations due to recent divorces.