by Megan Graham
As holiday shoppers milled around Kokomo stores Wednesday, a mystery donor tossed an especially generous gift into a Salvation Army kettle.
As Kokomo Salvation Army members counted the day’s donations, they found one gold Krugerrand and six 1-ounce silver coins — a donation totaling more than $1,800.
Salvation Army Capt. Dale Brandenburg said this isn’t the first time the organization has received gifts of this kind. For four years, an anonymous donor has tossed a Krugerrand in one of the kettles in town. The donor has since begun adding the silver coins, currently worth about $32 apiece.
“The way I understand it, it’s like the purest gold we can get,” Brandenburg said. “It’s very, very, very special to get one.”
Brandenburg said the Salvation Army would not disclose the location where the coins were found, but said the donor has dropped the coins in different locations each year.
“It’s not uncommon for people to do that,” Brandenburg said. “It happens all over the country.”
John Spencer, owner of Eagle Coin & Stamp, said Krugerrands are about 90 percent pure gold. The coins, first minted in 1967 in South Africa, are often counterfeited, but Spencer said they can be verified by weighing.
“Pretty good find in their kettle,” he said.
The find comes at a good time for the Salvation Army, whose kettle drive has been less than stellar this year.
“We are down from this time last year,” Brandenburg said. “We’re not getting a lot of volunteers. We desperately need volunteers.”
The organization hopes to raise $77,500 before Christmas. To volunteer at any of the 12 sites, call the Salvation Army office at 765-456-3846. Shifts are available between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Megan Graham is the Kokomo Tribune business reporter.
She can be reached by phone at 765-454-48570 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.