Around this time of year (going through the holiday season), we're often treated to stories about anonymous donors dropping precious metals, coins, and even jewelry into Salvation Army kettles.

It's nice to see that in a year like the one we're all having, it still continues to happen. And, better yet, it happened right here in Rockford.

Nancy Jenkins, development director of The Salvation Army Winnebago County, just shared the story of a unnamed person's kindness at a time when it is needed most.

That kindness was the donation of a 10-ounce silver bar, valued at around $235.00. The silver bar, dropped off at The Salvation Army Winnebago County Temple Corps at 500 S. Rockford Avenue, came with a note explaining the thought behind the drop-off:

Nancy Jenkins, The Salvation Army Winnebago County

Because of the pandemic, The Salvation Army decided to launch their Rescue Christmas campaign in mid-September. The thought was to get an early start to cover the much higher level of need in the Rockford area.

With seventy percent of The Salvation Army’s donations for the entire year being made during the Christmas season, the money raised during this time will also fund programming for the Salvation Army all year long.

And, with a 500% increase in the the number of households requesting food assistance this year, this couldn't have come at a better time. The Salvation Army says that the silver bar will provide around 14 bags of groceries for some families in the Rockford area that can really use it.

Major Mark Martsolf, Winnebago County Coordinator:

We are so very grateful for the generosity and support from this anonymous donor. It is because of everyday champions like this donor, and the generosity of this community, that The Salvation Army can stand and serve the most vulnerable.

As I mentioned earlier, this sort of thing happens all over the country every year. Some examples:

  • Rapid City, South Dakota, 2019: For 23 consecutive years, a gold coin has been dropped into a Salvation Army kettle. Last year's coin was worth around $1,500.
  • Batavia, Illinois, 2018: A single 1-ounce gold coin was wrapped in a $1 bill and slipped into the kettle outside of a Walmart store.
  • Livingston County, Michigan, 2017: An unidentified man had dropped four gold pesos valued at $1,212 each and a gold bar valued at $1,249, for a total of $6,097 in gold into several kettles around the area.