The Helena Salvation Army has a Secret Santa.
A generous anonymous donor dropped a diamond ring into one of the Salvation Army’s red kettles this week.
It’s a valuable gift that will bring blessings long after Christmas.
“Someone giving something from their heart or their past and it’s kind of amazing,” Helena Salvation Army Captain Rob Lawler said.
On Wednesday, a diamond ring wrapped in a $20 bill was left in the Salvation Army’s kettle station at the North Montana Albertsons.
“We carefully took the tape off and to find this gold ring that was in it, it has about a half a carat of real diamonds in it in a gold band,” Lawler said.
Lawler added it is a first for his career.
“It’s kind of amazing. We love when people put in a couple dollar bills in, but when someone puts in something like this, it must have meant something to them at one point, so it’s like giving a part of them," he said.
The Salvation Army looks to raise $75,000 from its kettles each year.
The donations pay for food boxes, rental and utility assistance, and transitional housing.
“We help about 7,000 people a year in our community,” Lawler said.
However, the Salvation Army has had trouble finding volunteers for the kettle campaign.
“I think today we have four whole bell ringers out and we have about 16 locations,” Lawler said.
But donations like the diamond ring boost morale.
“The ring was appraised at insurance value of about $1,000,” Lawler said. "Just very generous and we’re very thankful for that donation.”
That’s a true Christmas story.
“Someone gave something of their personal history, their personal being,” Lawler said. “Just thank you and I’d love to hear the story.”
There is still time to volunteer as a bell-ringer. Call the Salvation Army at 442-8244.