Holiday mystery: Mexican gold coins worth $2,800 dropped in Florida Salvation Army kettles

In a mystery tailor-made for the holidays, an anonymous donor has dropped a second gold coin valued at $1,400 in a Broward Salvation Army kettle.

Officials said the unknown giver, whom they have nicknamed "the heart-of-gold donor," dropped the rare, 50-peso Mexican gold coins at two different Wal-Marts in Pompano Beach.

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The first coin was found last week wrapped in a $1 bill at the Wal-Mart at 2300 West Atlantic Blvd. A second coin was pulled out of one of the Salvation Army's iconic red kettles at a location off South Federal Highway over the weekend.

According to the Salvation Army, the identical coins will enable them to feed up to 800 homeless people for an additional day. "These generous donations will allow us to provide one more day. Instead of five days a week, we would be doing six days a week," said Lilly Gallardo, Salvation Army's director of social services in Fort Lauderdale. "We're very happy about that. We're very excited, and we're very, very grateful."

Salvation Army Maj. Luis Viera, area commander for Broward County, echoed Gallardo's gratitude toward the mystery donor. "On our behalf, our staff, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you very much to make the Salvation Army a success in this season," he said. "Thank you again, God bless you, Merry Christmas."

Officials said, when they spotted the first gold coin, they thought it was a mistake. After they found the second coin, however, they are certain the donations were intentional.

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