gold coin in front of red kettle

Gold coin found in Salvation Army red kettle in Kitsap County, Washington

Surprise donation is especially helpful during shorter holiday season.

Salvation Army volunteers in Bremerton, Washington, discovered a gold coin while counting red kettle donations from Dec. 10. An anonymous donor dropped the coin into a kettle somewhere in Kitsap County. The 2011 Liberty gold coin has an estimated value of $1,500. 

“Honestly, our team didn’t recognize the coin at first,” Bremerton Corps Officer Captain Lance Walters said. “They were counting the donations and put it aside as an unknown coin. Thankfully, upon further review, it was identified as something very special!” 

The exact location of the donation remains a mystery, as The Salvation Army has about 35 red kettles and bell ringers throughout Kitsap County every day.

“I wish I could personally thank the person who donated this gold coin,” Walters said. “I want them to know how much this gesture is appreciated, especially now, as we are behind last year’s donations for this time.”

The unusual donation comes at a much-needed time for The Salvation Army. With fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, opportunities for people to donate decrease. Ultimately, decreased donations could lead to less money for The Salvation Army to provide services during the next year.

This season, approximately 500 red kettles are collecting donations throughout Western Washington. These donations will be used during the coming year to provide community services, including food, shelter, addiction recovery, domestic violence aid, youth programs and emergency disaster relief.

“Every donation—small or large—is needed and adds up,” Northwest Divisional Commander Lt. Colonel Bill Dickinson. “The donations are used in the local community where they are received, so every quarter, dollar, or even gold coin will be reinvested to help local families in need.”

Donations are also accepted at

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