Eight gold coins valued over $7,000 left in Salvation Army kettles

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The Salvation Army has seen a considerable drop in its Red Kettle Campaign this season, but the donation of several gold coins worth thousands of dollars is pushing the organization closer to its goal.

Eight gold coins have been found in the Tulsa Area Salvation Army’s kettles this month, continuing the decades-long tradition of such donations by an anonymous benefactor.

Capt. Ken Chapman said the valuable coins are especially helpful right now due to the decreased number of donations. This year’s kettle goal is $700,000.

“We are 20 percent behind schedule, so this is going to help get us where we need to go,” Chapman said.

The first gold coin — a half-ounce Krugerrand from South Africa — was discovered inside a Bixby kettle on Dec. 2. Since then, The Salvation Army has received five U.S. gold $20 coins from the late 1800s and early 1900s, a full Krugerrand and a quarter Kruggerand.

The combined gold was valued at more than $7,000 by Tulsa Gold & Silver, which matched all red kettle donations during the past two Saturdays with $25,000.

Kruggerand coins have appeared in local kettles throughout the past two decades. While Chapman said he is not sure who makes the donations, he has an idea. However, he is fine with respecting their desire to remain anonymous.

Additionally, someone recently gave The Salvation Army an impressive coin collection worth $1,500.

Although the generous gifts have helped, The Salvation Army has a long way to go to reach its goal before the kettle campaign wraps up Saturday.

“This money is vital to keep that going, to take care of people in this community who cannot help themselves,” he said. “It helps people who have lost their direction. It helps people who have lost hope. It puts food in people’s bellies and roofs over people’s heads, and that’s what we need to do for each other.”

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