The Salvation Army in Reno is celebrating an unusual donation into one of their kettles. A gold 1979 Krugerrand coin was discovered Friday morning when staff counted all of the cash donations collected from Thursday’s bell ringing efforts.  

The Salvation Army says the gold 1979 Krugerrand coin was dropped in a kettle at the Walmart on 4855 Kietzke Lane in Reno.  

The Salvation Army says this is the third consecutive year in which a Reno kettle has received such a special gift. Last Christmas season, another gold 1979 Krugerrand coin was put in a kettle outside of Bumblebee Blooms Flower Boutique on Sierra Street. In 2015, two rare coins were each wrapped in $100 bills, valued at approximately $550 each. 

“I’m shocked and pleased to have this blessing in our red kettle.” said Major Charles Fowler, Washoe County Salvation Army Reno Corps Coordinator.  “We find unusual items in our kettles from time to time. Most have no value. This one, however, is a tremendous boost to the bell ringing campaign.  Whoever this donor is, I just want to say thanks for the helping us and this community.”

The Salvation Army says the Red Kettle campaign is down 13% compared to the income raised last Christmas season. The Reno Corps has had a goal of $285,000 for this year's campaign. 

Donations collected in The Salvation Army kettles help to support local programs like the Christmas assistance program, year-round food assistance and other vital social services and youth programs. The Red Kettle campaign in Reno will conclude on December 23. 

(The Salvation Army contributed to this report.)