In the true spirit of the holiday season, a Boston woman offered $21,000 for the bridal jewelry dropped into a Salvation Army Red Kettle a few weeks ago — and made a special request that the rings be reunited with their original owner.
Recently, we featured the story of an anonymous woman who honored her late husband’s joy of Christmastime gift giving by selflessly donating her engagement ring and wedding band to the Salvation Army. She hoped the proceeds from the jewelry could buy toys for needy children.
“In all seasons, my husband was a giver,” said the note that accompanied the jewelry. “I especially remember his joy in giving at Christmastime, especially to those in need. To honor his memory, I donate this ring."
Accompanying the jewelry in an envelope was a 2003 appraisal stating the engagement ring’s value at $1,850.
The widow was confident the three-stone engagement ring would yield far more than the amount stated on the 11-year-old appraisal. "I'm hoping there's someone out there who made lots of money this year and will buy the ring for 10 times its worth. After all, there's no price on love or the sentimental value of this ring. But money will help the kids."
The woman’s wishes were more than fulfilled when another Boston-area widow — and former Salvation Army bell ringer — offered $21,000 for the engagement ring and wedding band. Instead of taking possession of the rings, she requested that they be returned to their original owner.
“I want to be involved in this because it’s about the spirit of Christmas, the spirit of giving,” she told Salvation Army officials. “My wish is that the rings can be returned to this woman who gave them up in memory of her husband for the sake of children at Christmas.”
Like the rings’ owner, the second benefactor wished to remain anonymous and was motivated by the memory of her beloved spouse.
“I miss him dearly, but my husband would be happy that I am doing this,” she told the Salvation Army.
Even though the Salvation Army is dedicated to fulfilling the sentiment behind its donations, it’s not clear if the original donor will come forward to reclaim her rings.
“We certainly hope [she] has been paying attention to all the stories that this has generated and we hope that she’s been gratified,” Drew Forster, spokesman for the Massachusetts Salvation Army, told The Boston Globe. “Maybe she [will] come forward in light of this new information. But we have not heard from anyone at this point.”
Donations made to the Salvation Army are typically used to provide funding for food pantries, soup kitchens, social services and educational programs for children, families and seniors.
“We are just blown away by these gifts and the way it has captured people’s imaginations,” Forster told The Boston Globe.
Images: Screen captures via New England Cable News