A generous holiday donor is helping make this the most wonderful time of year for the Waterloo Salvation Army.
In the past two weeks, 12 gold coins have been dropped into Salvation Army red kettles.
The highly valuable "Lady Liberty" coins will help the organization in meeting its ambitious $709,000 fundraising goal, which accounts for 75 percent of its annual budget.
The Salvation Army says the coin donations are helping it remember the reason we celebrate Christmas.
"It's a very generous gift, obviously," said Major Jose Tamayo with the Waterloo Salvation Army. "And we hope the donor will receive his blessing from the Lord for doing this, and know that it is going to be used wisely and be used in the best way to help the most people in need."
Each day the donor dropped a gold coin into a kettle, it was wrapped with the amount of money in its sequence. So on the first day, the gold coin was wrapped in a one dollar bill, and on the last day the gold coin was wrapped in $12.
The Salvation Army believes the donor intended to do this for the "12 Days of Christmas."
The gold coins will be auctioned off.
Bell ringers will continue collecting donations for the Waterloo Salvation Army through 4 p.m. Monday.
There's still about $100,000 yet to raise toward this year's goal, but mail-in contributions through the end of January count towards meeting the goal.
The Salvation Army believes the gold coin collection may break a national record. Previously, it appears the most gold coins collected in one season was nine by a Salvation Army in Florida.
The Waterloo Salvation Army has never collected more than two gold coins in a single red kettle campaign.
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