DETROIT (WWJ) – Salvation Army Major Mark Anderson says every few years something amazing is dropped into one of their red kettles … and this year was one of them:

“We had a gold Krugerrand that was dropped in over on the east side,” explained Anderson.

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So what is a Krugerrand?

Major Kevin Van Zee holding a South African Krugerrand.

Major Kevin Van Zee holding a South African Krugerrand.

The Krugerrand is a South African gold coin and Anderson says it’s very popular with collectors, “and it certainly has immediate value and we of course exchange that by buying food or toys for needy families.”

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And Major Anderson says the coin drop timing was serendipitous.

“It really was around the same time – I would say just at the same time as Mandela passed, someone decided to make that recognition.”

The Salvation Army says the gold coin’s worth is enough to provide coats to 48 children to keep them warm this winter, or provide food for 10 people for an entire year.

The goal for the campaign in southeast Michigan is $8.75 million, which Salvation Army Envoy Terry Gaster, says funds programs all year long.

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The Red Kettle Campaign runs through January – Find more information on the red kettle campaign –HERE.