SHARON, Pa. (WKBN) — The Salvation Army, known for its Red Kettle campaign, helps raise money to help families during the holidays. A Mercer County chapter received a unique donation in 2022.

When you go to a red kettle during the holiday season, you may donate a few dollars or some spare change. But at the Salvation Army in Sharon, they found something different in a kettle this year.

“It’s probably one of the nicest that we’ve ever gotten,” says Maj. Stephanie Childs with the Sharon Salvation Army.

A ring — with a gold band, round diamond and emerald accents — was dropped in a kettle at the Walmart in Hermitage. Childs says this is a rare find.

“It’s not often, but I mean, it can happen,” Childs says. “Every once in a while, you find a piece of jewelry, like somebody has lost their earring, but it’s more like cosmetic jewelry. “

The ring also came with a jewelry appraisal from 1990, but all personal information was blacked out, keeping the identity of the donor anonymous. According to that appraisal, the ring was worth $1,700.

“In today’s economy, it could be a couple hundred dollars more,” Childs says.

Childs has a few ideas in mind as to why the ring was donated.

“When we first shared among some of our people, they’re like, ‘Oh, it must have been a jilted marriage.’ I’ve also known people, when they lose a loved one, they can sometimes donate their jewelry,” Childs says.

Childs says money for the ring can come in multiple ways: The Salvation Army could sell it from its own thrift store, the ring could also be cashed out at a pawn shop in town, or it could be sold in a Salvation Army auction at the Pittsburgh headquarters.

“Whatever funds are collected on behalf of the ring, that will come back to this area,” Childs says.

Childs says the ring donation really shows the generosity of the community and says she would love to meet the anonymous donor privately.