The gold coin bandit has struck for the fifth year in a row, once again secretly dropping a gold coin worth around $1,200 into one of the Salvation Army's Red Kettle donation buckets in Springfield, Ohio.
An anonymous donor dropped the gold South African Krugerrand, wrapped in a $100 bill, into a Red Kettle donation bucket over Thanksgiving weekend.
“This is becoming a tradition now in Clark County to find the gold coin. Each Thanksgiving weekend it happens and we don’t know who it is,” said Ryan Ray, development director of the Springfield Salvation Army.
Ray said volunteer bell ringers look forward to finding the coin every year.
“We look forward to it not only because it helps us and gives us a boost, but it also inspires other people to give in compassionate and unique ways,” Ray said. “Often, this triggers other means of giving and when you can do that in the community, you can show kids how to give in ... their own way.”
Ray said the money generated from the gold coin, and other Red Kettle donations, will be used “to make sure lots of people get help.”
Among other things, the Salvation Army uses donations to operate homeless shelters, supply electricity, heat, clothing and food for those in need, work with at-risk children and provide camp opportunities for children with disabilities.
As for the mysterious donor of the gold coin, Ray said the Salvation Army has no desire to track them down. However, he does have a message for them.
“To the gold coin bandit, I just want to say thank you on the behalf of the Salvation Army and on the behalf of the community for doing something so amazingly unique and compassionate,” Ray said. “I’m guessing you are the type of person that is doing other amazing things in the community and it doesn’t just stop here. We love you and the community loves you.”