It's a very merry Christmas for Lake County's Salvation Army after an anonymous donor placed a package of seven gold Swiss Francs in a red kettle.
The package was placed in a kettle on Saturday at a Libertyville Jewel-Osco, and contained a note saying in part, "Thank you and your faithful "soldier" bell ringers for doing the fabulous work of God almighty in taking care of our needy (financially and spiritually)." (Read full note)
The coins, which each contain .19-ounces of gold, are worth $2,170.
It's the second year in a row an anonymous person has left Swiss coins in a Libertyville kettle. Last year, a person believed to be the same individual, planted two packages of coins.
Officials say the practice of leaving gold coins in Salvation Army kettles began 25 years ago in McHenry County, and more than 500 coins have been received since.
The Salvation Army uses the holiday Red Kettle donation drive to provide food for the needy. Officials say emergency food requests are up as high as 400 percent in the region this year.