Seven gold coins were dropped in a Salvation Army red kettle Sunday accompanied by a heartfelt handwritten note from an anonymous person outside of Jewel in Libertyville.
Each gift-wrapped Swiss franc was made up of .19-ounces of gold, amounting to a total donation valued at about $1,500, according to the Salvation Army.
“Dear Salvation Army staff and all of your faithful bell ringers,” the giver wrote. “You are all an inspiration to us in your care for our needy men, women and children. God's special blessings on each one of you.”
From the style of handwriting and type of coin, the Salvation Army believes the donation came from the same person who has dropped gold francs in the Libertyville red kettle every year for the past four years. Each year the package is attached to a letter expressing their appreciation for the Salvation Army’s mission and ministry.
“This is the fourth year in a row that our guardian angel has given to our Corps and his gifts mean everything to the people we serve during the Christmas season,” Salvation Army's Major William Holman said in a statement. “The more money we are able to raise through generous gifts like this, the more people we are able to help, not only during Christmas, but throughout the entire year. All of Lake County is extremely grateful to this generous donor."
The first gold coin to be dropping in a Lake County red kettle was more than 25 years ago.
Anonymous donors have since upheld the tradition with more than 400 gold coins of different varieties donated over the years.