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Small Gold Bar Makes A Big Impact

December 24, 2013, 5:00 PM by Sammi Bjelland

Small Gold Bar Makes A Big Impact

The Salvation Army in Sioux Falls is celebrating an extra special donation. 

For the second time in a month, the Salvation Army in Sioux Falls has received a big donation, in a small package.

"We opened up the kettle and we're like, 'Wow what's this?' And unwrapped the note and there it was. It said, 'Bell ringers are special people.' And so it's fantastic," Major Tom Riggs with the Salvation Army said. 

Inside the note was a small gold bar, with the words "The Perth Mint, Australia" printed on the face.

While this may seem a little out of place in South Dakota, Riggs says it's happening more often than you'd think.

"Two I think were given in Rapid City this month. This is the second one we've gotten here. I heard stories or reports of them being received in other communities, such as Omaha, Chicago," Riggs said.

The small gold bar doesn't look like much to the human eye.

"This is one ounce of 99.99 percent pure gold and it surprised me how heavy it is," Riggs said. 

But that one ounce of pure gold is worth a pretty penny.

"It has a value somewhere between $1,200 and $1,500. So, we'll take it to a gold exchange or a precious metal person and then we'll redeem it. Then we'll be able to use that money to help meet the practical needs of the people here in Sioux Falls," Riggs said.

So far this year, the red kettle bell ringers have collected about $309,000 in donations. Riggs believes the cold weather held them back from receiving even more.

"When the windchill was 20 or 30 below zero, it's not safe to have our bell ringers out. I don't want them to get frostbite. So we would have two people at one location, so we reduced the amount of our locations," Riggs said. 

Even though they didn't reach their goal of $350,000 this year, Riggs is still thrilled with the giving hearts in the community.

"It is worth so much because it speaks of a person's depth of love for others. They're going to invest in people that they don't know," Riggs said.

You can donate money to the Salvation Army by stopping at 800 North Cliff Avenue in Sioux Falls, or you can make a donation online.

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