An anonymous woman honored her late husband’s joy of Christmastime gift giving by dropping her engagement ring and wedding band into a Salvation Army Red Kettle outside of Boston’s North Station.
Accompanying the three-stone engagement ring and plain gold wedding band was a type-written note from the woman and a 2003 appraisal stating that the engagement ring was worth $1,850. The value of the wedding band was not included.
“I’ve dropped my wedding ring in your Red Kettle knowing that the money from its sale will buy toys for needy children,” she wrote. “In all seasons, my husband was a giver. I especially remember his joy in giving at Christmastime, especially to those in need. To honor his memory, I donate this ring."
The widow continued, "I'm hoping there's someone out there who made lots of money this year and will buy the ring for ten times its worth. After all, there's no price on love or the sentimental value of this ring. But money will help the kids." Instead of signing the note, she drew a simple red heart in the bottom-right corner.
Salvation Army officials were delighted — but somewhat stunned — by the woman’s generosity.
Drew Forster, the Greater Boston Director of Communications for The Salvation Army, said that it’s very unusual for someone to intentionally drop jewelry in a Red Kettle.
"Jewelry comes into our kettles from time to time, but it's generally by accident," Forster told New England Cable News. "This is really quite remarkable.”
Bell ringer Robert Barr was manning the North Station Red Kettle when the jewelry donation was made. He said the woman was slight in stature and probably in her 50s. She dropped into the kettle two envelopes, which contained the jewelry in a clear plastic bag, the appraisal and the note.
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.
For now, the woman has remained anonymous. Salvation Army officials said that they would love to thank the woman in person for her generosity, even if it was done privately. They also announced that they have received a $3,000 offer for the bridal jewelry, with the bidder explaining that he hopes his interest in the rings will inspire others to offer even more.
Images: Screen captures via New England Cable News