Donor drops gold coin worth $1,000 into Salvation Army bucket outside Columbia Falls grocery

The holidays are a little brighter for a Montana Salvation Army after a gold coin was found in one of the organization's red kettles.

The Daily Inter Lake reports ( ) that a Liberty Head Double Eagle gold coin, which is made of an ounce of gold and valued at $1,060, was donated to a red kettle recently at the Columbia Falls Smith's grocery store.

Flathead Valley Salvation Army Maj. Steve Svenson says gold coins are donated to the Salvation Army across the country each year, but this is the first he has ever seen in his 32 Christmas seasons with the nonprofit.

The red kettles are the Salvation Army's primary fundraiser for social service programs.


Information from: Daily Inter Lake,