The Salvation Army is active in more than 100 countries around the world
working through charity shops, homeless shelters and disaster relief efforts.
Of course, there is also the iconic red kettle used to collect donations, often
with a Salvation Army representative dressed as Santa Claus standing by.
The loss of income and livelihoods resulting from the COVID-19 lockdowns
have made more demands on the charity. None more so than in Las
Vegas, which had its biggest income generators—tourism and hospitality—
completely shut down for more than a year, resulting in massive layoffs of
hotel and casino staff. According to a Salvation Army spokesperson, the
organization helps about 75,000 people a year in the Las Vegas area.
On December 23, 2020, Salvation Army officials in Las Vegas were sorting
through the day’s take of one of the red kettles—usually dollar bills, nickels,
dimes and quarters—and found a one-ounce solid gold coin.
The coin was produced by the Royal Canadian Mint at a face value of $50
Canadian, or about $39 in U.S. currency. It turned out the market value of
one ounce of gold is far greater, and varies day-to-day. This particular coin
had a value of $1,800 to $2,000.
Salvation Army officials expressed profound gratitude to the person who
dropped the coin in the kettle, someone who chose to express generosity
in an unusual and anonymous way.
Learn more about the importance of donor privacy in our report Unheralded Generosity: A 50-State Look at Anonymous Giving.