The Gold Coin Phantom has struck again, conspicuously dropping a gold coin worth around $1,200 into one of the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle donation buckets in Springfield.
This is at least the third year in a row an anonymous donor has dropped a gold South African Krugerrand into a Red Kettle donation bucket. The most recent donation was made over Thanksgiving weekend at the Kroger on North Bechtle Avenue.
“We were excited again this year to discover the Gold Coin Phantom had struck again,” said Ryan Ray, development director of the Salvation Army Springfield. “They really conceal who they are and what they are doing. I can’t tell you much of anything and we are not planning on investigating either. We are just very honored.”
This holiday season, the gold coin has a bit of extra meaning for the Salvation Army because the Red Kettle Campaign is shorter this year and in need of as many donations as possible to average last year’s donations, according to Ray.
The donor uses the same method every year to make the donation, Ray said.
“They wrapped it up in a $100 bill, placed it in our kettle and went on about their way, without us knowing who it is,” Ray said Wednesday.
The volunteer who manned the bucket, from which the coin was pulled, said he was unaware who placed the coin and wasn’t really sure what was there, “but I kind of figured because I saw the color, but I just say what I say, ‘God’s good, God’s great, He’s awesome all the time; yes He is. God bless you, thank you,’ ” said Michael Davis, a Salvation Army Red Kettle volunteer.
The “Gold Coin Phantom, sets an example for other people that giving back can be fun, it can be creative, unique. It gives us a breathe of fresh air. It means a lot. We love whoever is doing this,” Ray said.
Ray said he wants to remind the community as they walk past Red Kettles over the next few weeks that the Salvation Army uses the money to provide vital services to Springfield area residents. Those services include operating homeless shelters, supplying electricity and heat and clothing and food to those in need, working with at-risk children and providing camp opportunities for children with disabilities.
Red Kettle season began Friday, Nov. 23 and ends on Christmas Eve.