The Salvation Army of Conway has received another donation from an anonymous philanthropist as part of its red kettle campaign that is worth its weight in gold.
The receptionist at the Salvation Army office received a call last Thursday afternoon from a blocked phone number saying a gold coin had been dropped in the Salvation Army kettle outside JCPenney on Skyline Drive.
Last Monday, a 22-karat gold Krugerrand coin from the South African Mint was dropped in a kettle outside the Walmart Super Center on Skyline Drive.
This time the precious metal came in the from of a one ounce, 24 karat gold, triangular-shaped bullion bar from NTR Metals.
NTR Metals is a global precious metals company that refines more than 30 million pounds of metal each year with more than 50 locations in the U.S. and Europe.
There is a local refining branch in North Little Rock that processes, handles and mints gold and silver products.
"It’s one ounce of pure gold," said Jacob Hagan, branch manager. "Even though the price of gold goes up and down, the bar itself is worth well over $1,200."
The value of both the Krugerrand and NTR Metals bullion bar, fluctuates by the minute based on the current value of gold, but Krugerrands are selling for $1,300 or more on ebay depending on the year minted, and two NTR Gold Triangle one ounce bars sold for $1,725 each on ebay Oct. 9.
"We’re very, very thankful that people believe in us to do this," said Salvation Army Capt. David Robinson. "It helps the Salvation Army, but it boils down to helping people in our community."
The money raised each holiday season helps the charitable organization reach out to those in need by buying groceries for the week, covering a month of utilities or paying for needed prescriptions, Robinson said.
Robinson said he’s noticed society is sometimes hesitant when it comes to giving their money as a charitable donation.
"The impression I’ve received from the community - even the people at the pawn shop were making bets if the Salvation Army would ever see that money — is that there’s a trust issue with donations," he said.
Any money raised in Conway goes to help the people of Faulkner, Perry, Van Buren and Cleburne counties.
"The money will come from people having the trust in us to do what is right," Robinson said. "We want to do the most good with people’s funds, volunteer time and anything else we’re provided."
With Thanksgiving falling later in the month this year, and bell ringers losing two days from the ice and snow, donations are running behind with little time left to catch up.
As of Saturday, the Salvation Army of Conway had raised $56,641, down $17,019 from this time last year.
Raising money has been a community effort with four volunteers dressing up as Santa Clause and his elves at Walmart Super Center over the weekend, and Cub Scouts ringing at the Kroger on Salem Road, raising nearly $300 in two hours.
The Salvation Army of Conway is taking sealed bids for its two gold pieces at its office at 2125 Harkrider, Suite 12.
The starting bid for the NTR Metals bullion bar is being set at $1,250, and the Krugerrand at $1,325.
"I think it’s pretty great that somebody has the means and the generosity of giving something like that to people that are less fortunate," Hagan said. "It can be hard not being able to get to see your family, or give your kids the things they want, so hopefully [the money] will go to someone who can really use it."
Inquiries can be dropped off in a sealed envelop with the person’s name and phone number.
"We hope someone would give more than the value of gold," Robinson said. "With the selling of these coins it could potentially make up a good $3,000 to $4,000."
Thursday at 4 p.m. is the final day to bid for the Krugerrand, and Monday at 4 p.m. is the last day to bid on the NTR Metal bullion bar.
(Staff writer Michelle Corbet can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1215. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)