While most people settle for tossing in spare change, a more generous donor has targeted the Salvation Army’s red kettles in metro Detroit.

Salvation Army officials say in the last week The Pontiac Corps Community Center received a collection of small diamonds, gold coins, gold necklaces and a gold band. And they could use it — the Army is still $300,000 shy of its 2011 Red Kettle campaign goal.

The goodies, valued at more than $820, were donated in separate kettles in West Bloomfield and other areas. They’ll be auctioned off later this month by Abbott’s Corp. of Birmingham, a highly respected dealer in rare coins and precious metals, with proceeds benefitting The Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army’s red kettles have been called in from the majority of the 405 kettle sites in metro Detroit, red kettles will remain in a few choice areas, specifically to help the Farmington Hills Corps Community Center and Pontiac Corps Community Center meet their red kettle goals for the season.

In hopes of helping The Salvation Army catch up, multiple metro Detroit Kroger locations have offered to let bell ringers continue to ring until December 31.

“Kroger continues to be a generous supporter of The Salvation Army and we are incredibly grateful for all they do,” said Major Mark Anderson, general secretary and metro Detroit area commander for The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division. “Although we are still approximately $300,000 behind, we’re confident that metro Detroiters will come together to help us help those in need.”

Select Kroger stores in the Farmington Hills and Pontiac Corps Community Center areas will host kettles at their stores through Dec. 31.

Donations are also being accepted via phone at 877-SAL-MICH, online at www.salmich.org via check to The Salvation Army at 16130 Northland Drive, Southfield, MI 48075. Donors may also make a $10 donation by texting ‘GOODMICH’ to 80888*. The Red Kettle Campaign will officially end on Jan. 31, 2012.

This past year, The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit was involved in providing 3,194,802 million meals and 687,203 nights of shelter for the homeless. The Salvation Army uses $.85 of every dollar raised to provide direct services to people in need.

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