Harrisburg

Nameless donor slips solid-gold piece inside Harrisburg Salvation Military kettle – ABC27

LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) — The Salvation Army Harrisburg Capital City Region must have been good. Instead of a lump of coal, they got a chunk of change.

“Everybody was shocked and was like — is this real,” said Kathy Anderson-Martin, director of resource development.

A one-ounce gold piece was placed into a red kettle outside the Lower Paxton Township Karns on Monday. In order to see if it was real, the Salvation Army enlisted the help of Mountz Jewelers.

“I mean, as soon as I saw it, I knew that it was something special for them,” said Tonia Ulsh, president and COO of Mountz Jewelers

Mountz Jewelers priced the piece pro-bono.

“It’s an easy determination because there are no alloys added to it, really. So, it’s almost pure gold, and it’s an easy determination of value,” Ulsh said.

The value is nearly $1,700 — although gold is priced globally, and the value changes daily.

A value that never changes is what Mountz places on community service.

“We are a family-owned business. We live in this community. We want it to thrive, and so we are doing this as something special for Salvation Army so they can get the most of what their donation was,” Ulsh said.

The anonymous donor can’t be traced, but their impact is certainly felt.

“This person made a difference in terms of providing for someone’s basics needs, but also for encouraging a very tired staff,” Anderson-Martin said.

Anderson-Martin said it’s been a tough year for the nonprofit, which has constantly been operating in disaster mode.

“During the COVID crisis we’ve never shut our doors. We’ve never stopped serving. In fact, we’re serving two to three times the amount of people versus normal,” Anderson-Martin said.

Still, the heartbeat of the community is as strong as ever — proven by a dynamite donation in an abysmal year.

“We had people who turned over their entire stimulus check to the Salvation Army, saying, ‘you know what? I’m working. I’m doing okay. I want to help someone who is not,” Anderson-Martin said.

“It takes all of us working together to get through all of this, and on the other side, it’s going to be brighter days for everyone,” Ulsh said.

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