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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Gold coin dropped into red kettle at Casey’s Foods


In what has become a years-long tradition, a generous donor has left gold in The Salvation Army’s iconic Red Kettle outside Casey’s Foods in Naperville.

Bell ringers for The Salvation Army Aurora Corps, which serves the City of Naperville, discovered a 1-ounce gold South African Krugerrand coin at the end of the day on Thursday. The donation, worth an estimated $1,790, will make a difference in a year in which more people in the western suburbs find themselves seeking assistance.

“We are extremely grateful for this donation and want to publicly thank the generous individual whose contribution will make a difference in the lives of our neighbors,” said Capt. Joaquin Rangel, corps officer for The Salvation Army Aurora Corps. “The gold coin shining in the kettle provides a glimmer of hope for many in our community during this time of unprecedented need.”

The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign dates back to 1891 in San Francisco. Gold and silver coins donated to The Salvation Army Red Kettles have become a much-anticipated holiday tradition of giving throughout Chicagoland.

But unlike previous years, The Salvation Army launched the Rescue Christmas campaign nearly two months early in 2020 to meet a significant increase in need. Some Salvation Army locations in Chicagoland have seen as much as a fivefold increase in requests for food and emergency assistance since the start of the pandemic.

All money donated to the Red Kettles stays local. Donations, including the valuable gold coin, help fund programming year-round.

For more information on The Salvation Army’s Rescue Christmas campaign, visit www.salarmychristmas.org.

(PN File Photo of Salvation Army Bell Ringer)

Find Salvation Army Bell Ringers throughout the community. Thanks for putting a little cash in your pocket before heading out to shop. (PN File Photo)

Donate new, unwrapped toys, art supplies and clothes

Update, Dec. 6, 2020 / As of Friday, which was their original deadline to receive donations, the Salvation Army of Aurora only has enough gifts to cover 25 percent of the children who need gifts. 

Jennifer Bruzan Taylor emailed that she had contacted the woman organizing the toy drive at the Salvation Army of Aurora and that they desperately need new and unwrapped toys, clothes, art supplies, and wireless earphones for children ages 0-13.

“They especially have very little for children ages 0-2 and 10-13. I have boxes in front of my house for a contactless donation. Please have individuals contact me by emailing me at info@taylorfornaperville.com to get my address to drop off the gifts,” Taylor said. “…Thank you for your help getting the word out to ensure that children do not think that Santa forgot to bring them a gift.”

Kindly donate by 1PM Tues., Dec. 8, so that donations can be delivered to the Salvation Army distribution Center

Update! Mission Accomplished to benefit Salvation Army

Photo courtesy Jennifer Taylor

“Thank you to all who contributed to our fast turnaround effort to support the Salvation Army of Aurora and collect more presents for the kids! Over 3 days, 88 extra-large bags of toys, clothing and books were collected with an estimated value of $10,000!! I couldn’t fit all the items in my 240 square foot room,” emailed Jennifer Taylor on Dec. 9. “Myself and three moms — Andrea, Kim and Gina — packed every inch of four vehicles and dropped off the donations…”

Taylor continued, “Salvation Army Captains Gabby and Joaquin were shocked. They appreciated everything and thanked us and you all with tears in their eyes. YOU helped make a difference for hundreds of struggling families this Christmas. My heart is full…”

For more information on The Salvation Army’s Rescue Christmas campaign, visit www.salarmychristmas.org.


PN Ombudsman
PN Ombudsman
An ombudsman is Scandinavian in origin dating back to Viking times; and refers to a community representative; usually acting independently on behalf of an organization, body of elected officials, or civic group. Thanks Scandinavia for inventing ombudsman.