Anonymous gift-giver donates expensive jewelry to Boston Salvation Army kettle

BOSTON (WHDH) - The unmistakable red kettle and bell is the sound and place you know you can put your spare change during the holidays.

But what about jewelry?

“A donor reached out,” said Salvation Army Director of Communications Drew Forster, “saying she wanted to donate a piece of jewelry. She was a little nervous that it was actually going to fit in the slot of our red kettle.”

The Salvation Army of Boston says that anonymous donor wanted to give a golden fish pin.

The fish features 18-karat gold and 32 diamonds.

When it was purchased nearly 20 years ago, it was valued at just under $5,000.

“Every gift in a red kettle is precious, and we’re grateful for it,” Forster said, “but it certainly is a pleasant surprise when someone gives something that’s so near and dear to them, and obviously, of such great value.”

It’s a generous gift — but it’s not an uncommon one for the Red Kettle campaign.

“Since 2014, we’ve had several jewelry donations in our red kettles,” Forster said, “and to date, we’ve raised almost $70,000 through auctioning off the jewelry pieces.”

The elaborate broach was the first donation of its kind in Massachusetts this year.

The fish — and any other pieces donated throughout the holiday season — will be auctioned off online. Proceeds from that auction will help Massachusetts families in need.

“We make sure that even if a child is experiencing poverty, they’re going to have something under the tree, and that their family is going to have a nice Christmas dinner together,” Forster said.

This year the Salvation Army of Massachusetts hopes to raise $3.5 million for local families through the Red Kettle campaign.

(Copyright (c) 2017 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)