PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)–The Salvation Army says it’s become a Christmas tradition across the country – anonymous donors dropping gold coins in their famous red kettles.
And now, that act of kindness has popped up in the Panhandle. The Panama City Salvation Army recently sorting through donations to find an exciting surprise.
“When I see a gold coin dropped somewhere in the United States in a Salvation Army kettle, I’ve said ‘I wish that would happen at my appointment!'” said Major Ed Binnix, Panama City Salvation Army Commanding Officer.
25 years of service later, and Major Binnix’s wish came true late last week.
A donor anonymously placed a call to the Salvation Army, warning them that there could be a suprise in one of the local red kettles.
“And we opened it up and there was this green cellophane plastic in there, something was wrapped up in it and it was heavy, and we open it up and sure enough there were 3 gold krugerrands from South Africa,” Binnix said.
The donation came out of Port Saint Joe and totals more than $4,400.
And still to this day, they don’t know who made the generous donation.
“The person who called, the first question he asked was ‘do you have caller ID?’ because he wanted to make sure we couldn’t identify that person,” Binnix said.
Those 3 gold coins from South Africa will now help with local programs and giving back to the community. Everything from food boxes to utility and rent assistance to their domestic violence program.
“Don’t pass that kettle without dropping something in it, even if it’s change, believe it or not about a third of that money comes in in change,” Binnix said.
The local Salvation Army set a goal to raise $90,000 this holiday season, and they expect to raise just $5,000 shy of that amount.