Secret Santa Drops Gold in Salvation Army Collection Kettles



“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” and he is leaving gold in the Salvation Army collection kettles around the United States.

During the last 19 years, a Secret Santa in Fort Collins, Colorado has dropped off gold coins. In 2017, bell ringers report he also left various forms of gold in South Carolina, Florida, Oregon, Michigan, Indiana, Washington, and Illinois.

The 2017 donations in Colorado consisted of one U.S. coin and two South African Krugerrands. They were discovered in three different locations; the King Soopers on Timberline Road, in North Fort Collins Walmart, and King Soopers on John F. Kennedy Parkway. The Secret Santa(s) deposited them on different days; December 5, 17, and 19.

The Coloradoan searched their archives and discovered this tradition began in 1998. Every year, even throughout the depression Some of the donations had messages attached. In 2000, the note read: ” Down but not out. Merry Christmas.” This year, a poem was attached:

Twas the night before Christmas, of last year.
Through Fort Collins, we scurried to bring gold Christmas cheer.
[The] Red kettles were gone, [the] bells were not ringing.
It had taken too long for the choir, carols singing.
This year a change [in] Santa’s long route.
Your charity is special and won’t be left out.
So, before New York, Maine, or Rhode Island two coins we will bring…
We’d like to remain the Anonymous One,
And invite others to join in on this holiday fun.
Merry Christmas!

In Portland, Oregon, the Secret Santa left one-ounce gold bars. On December 16 and 18, the gifts appeared in kettles at three different Fred Meyers locations. Days earlier, another generous soul deposited a $10,000 cash gift at another grocery store on December 6.

Santa gifted the Salvation Army with two coins in Seattle, Washington within a one-week period. The first was a 1997 Liberty coin and the other a 1979 Krugerrand. Another Krugerrand was discovered in Evansville, Indiana.

Another Santa tossed four gold pesos with an approximate value of a little over $1,200 each, But he did not stop there, also found after he left was a one-ounce gold bar in Genoa Township, Michigan.

For the fourth year in a row, the Coin Crusader left gold in the kettles. This Christmas season, in Pompano Beach, Florida he deposited two gold coins. The 1947 50-pesos coins, as in past years, were wrapped in a dollar bill.

In Alton, Illinois, Santa left two coins within a week, one of which was a gold 1955 Cinco peso weighing .1205 troy ounces. At least two donations of gold happened in the Chicagoland area. One was gifted in Naperville, a Chicago suburb, and another in Kankakee, which was accompanied by a note reading: “Happy Birthday, Jesus. 27 years and counting.” It is believed this means the person has donated for the last two-plus decades.

On December 22. One ounce of gold has a value of $1,278.10, according to the AMPEX website.

Not only do these donations prove some Americans are prosperous but it also demonstrates the humanity they are capable of showing one another. Whether it is a penny or thousands of dollars each contribution counts and they go to feed, clothe, and house those who are in need of assistance. Some of the funds assist with phone and utility payments, also much needed after-school programs.

By Cathy Milne


The Coloradoan: Fort Collins Salvation Army gets 3 gold coins yet again — but who is behind 20-year tradition?
KATU 2 Portland: Salvation Army finds two more gold bricks in Portland red kettles
KATU 2 Portland: Salvation Army discovers $10,000 cash donation in Portland Fred Meyer red kettle
NBC King 5: Salvation Army bell ringers strike gold
ABC RTV 6: Indiana Salvation Army receives Gold Krugerrand worth more than $1K in Red Kettle
The Detroit News: Man gives $6K in gold to Detroit-area Salvation Army
Sun-Sentinel: Mystery donor again drops gold pesos into Salvation Army’s Red Kettle
The Telegraph: Days after first gold coin, Alton’s Salvation Army finds another in kettle
ABC 7 News: Coin worth $1,200 left in Salvation Army red kettle by good Samaritan
AMPEX: Gold Price Information

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of j_lai’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License


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