Donations made at Salvation Army kettles are used year-round to help social service programs.
The first golden coins have reportedly been dropped into Salvation Army kettles this holiday season.
Two coins each worth a total of about $3,400 were donated to kettles in Lake County. One was a Double Eagle gold coin worth about $1,730, the Daily Herald reported Wednesday. The one-ounce coin was enclosed in a clear plastic sleeve and wrapped in a 1,000 Yen bill worth about $12. It was found Nov. 30 at a kettle outside a Grayslake grocery store.
A South African Kruggerand was found the same day at a Naperville grocery store. It's estimated at $1,700.
Last year gold and silver coins worth about $14,000 were found in Salvation Army kettles throughout Lake County.
Also this year someone bundled and dropped $1,000 into a Gurnee kettle.
The tradition is now in its 30th year. The first gold coin was donated in Crystal Lake, Ill. in 1982, said Melissa Temme, spokeswoman for the Salvation Army. Since then more than 300 gold coins have been donated.