Salvation Army of Chicago Blessed With 'Golden River' Of Gold Coins

Ariel Parrella-Aureli
December 01, 2018 - 4:48 pm

The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- It's officially December and the giving season is clearly underway. The Salvation Army received eight gold coins in a "golden weekend," where eight different Salvation Armies in the Chicagoland received gold coins in the red kettles.

Its first gold coin of the 2018 Christmas season was Nov. 30. A 1 ounce 2016 gold eagle coin was dropped into a kettle at the Jewel-Osco in Crystal Lake, 6140 Northwest Highway, by an anonymous donor. Since then, Geneva, Antioch, Fox Lake, Naperville, Batavia and Lake Zurich also got their share of a shining gift, and Des Plaines and Fox Valley completed the trend Dec. 5. The organization called these strings of anonymous donations a "golden river." 

The donations — ranging from approximately $125 to $1,200 in value — will go far in ensuring the Army will continue to provide emergency assistance, a food pantry, and holiday meals throughout the McHenry County area, according to Salvation Army's press release.

“This gift will really make a difference to the families we serve,” said Major Barbara Owen, officer for The Salvation Army Crystal Lake Corps Community Center, who was ringing the bells at the time of the donation. “A very generous donor is bringing hope and joy to our community.”

The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division

Seeing valuable coins are not new in the world of charity-giving during the holidays but are still a surprise for nonprofit organizations, especially The Salvation Army. Its Red Kettle campaign dates back to 1891 in San Francisco and gold and silver coins donated to the camapaign have become a much-anticipated holiday tradition of giving around Chicagoland communities.

Gold coins have already been found in Canton, Illinois and in Kankakee, where an anonymous donor dropped a gold coin also at a Jewel. That's the 28th year Kankanee Salvation Army has received a gold coin.

Bellringer Mike Buck felt the impact of the gold coin and said he was happy to see the generosity and support of The Salvation Army, which has been serving the Chicago area for more than 130 years.

“Crystal Lake is such a generous community and I want to help give back to the community by ringing bells for The Salvation Army,” said Buck. “That someone gave a gold coin just makes it even more rewarding."