Gold Coin Worth $1,300 Dropped in Salvation Army Red Kettle Outside Sam’s Club in Roseville

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**EMBARGO: Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, CA** It's thought by some to be a Salvation Army urban legend. The Salvation Army says a stranger dropped a coin worth around $1,300 into one of their kettles.

ROSEVILLE, CA — It’s thought by some to be a Salvation Army urban legend.

“I’ve heard stories about him,” said bell ringer Shawn Alter.

Legend has it a generous donor goes all over the country dropping gold coins in red kettles.

“Just trying to keep us motivated for something exciting to happen,” Alter said.

Well that’s all it was, just a story bell ringer Alter heard about, until Tuesday.

“Thought they were messing with me,” he said.

It’s no joke. While Alter was in the middle of his shift at a Sam’s Club in Roseville, someone dropped a Krugerrand coin into his red kettle.

“I don’t know if it’s male, female. It could be anybody,” Alter said.

It’s an ounce of pure gold. The Salvation Army says it’s worth around $1,300 that’ll pay for 250 meals.

The myth-turned-reality comes at a time where Roseville’s red kettle campaign is struggling, they still need about $30,000 to meet their goal.

A shortage of bell ringers this year is why they’re not bringing in money like in years past… but the Krugerrand helps in more ways than one…

“In a year that we’re not doing so great, it was definitely a morale booster and just excitement to see a coin I’ve never seen one before,” said Lt. Steve Pavlakis with the Salvation Army.

As Alter fills this Rocklin parking lot with that recognizable holiday ringing and positive attitude, he’s thrilled about the coin he collected.

“People came up and asked me, ‘Is that you that got that?'” he said.

And he hopes it’ll encourage others to help too.