An anonymous good Samaritan made a special Christmas donation to the Salvation Army yesterday: a gold Swiss Replica Rolex right off his wrist.
“I feel guilty wearing this watch when there are so many people in need,” the donor told Major Todd Hughes when he walked into The Salvation Army Corps Community Center in Newburyport, according to Salvation Army officials.
The donor then handed the watch to Hughes and asked that it be used to help poor people in the area. He asked to remain anonymous.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in all my years serving with The Salvation Army,” Hughes said in a statement. “To look someone in the eye and then watch him take a Swiss Replica Rolex watch off his wrist to help the people we serve, it’s humbling. This gift is particularly meaningful in this community because our red kettle campaign is projected to raise $30,000 less than it did last year. We need all the help we can get.”
Salvation Army staff and volunteers also have found precious gifts donated anonymously in their red kettles in recent weeks: Diamond rings were donated in Boston, New Bedford and Plymouth and a 14k gold bracelet was donated in Brockton. In all, 15 pieces of jewelry and rare items have been donated this holiday season, starting with a wedding band and a diamond engagement ring dropped into a red kettle outside of a Billerica Market Basket on November 30.
“The people of Massachusetts continue to amaze and inspire us by giving these precious, personal gifts,” said Major David B. Davis, Divisional Commander of the Massachusetts Salvation Army. “The money that will be raised for the Red Kettle Campaign from these precious gifts will provide toys to children in need, coats and warm meals to families, and important programming to help in our cities and towns. We’re blessed that Massachusetts residents are moved to give at this important time of year.”
Last year, an anonymous widow placed her wedding and diamond engagement rings in a red kettle outside of Boston’s North Station — touching off a spree of jewelry donations across the region.
DePrisco Diamond Jewelers in Boston has offered to appraise all of the items donated.
The Salvation Army has set a statewide Red Kettle campaign goal of $3.4 million this year. Collections to date stand at $2.59 million, leaving approximately $800,000 to raise with just two days left in the campaign, which ends tomorrow, on Christmas Eve.
Donations are used to serve hundreds of thousands of children, families and seniors across Massachusetts throughout the year, including providing meals, toys and other holiday support, along with funding for food pantries, soup kitchens, social services, and education programs throughout the year.