A gold South African Krugerrand valued at roughly $1,700 was dropped into a Salvation Army Red Kettle Nov. 30 at Casey's Foods at the corner of Washington Street and Gartner Road in Naperville, Salvation Army officials said Tuesday.
The tradition of dropping gold coins into the kettles dates back more than 25 years, officials said, when the first such coin was found in a kettle in McHenry County. Since then, the Salvation Army has received more than 400 gold coins from anonymous donors.
Red Kettle donations are used to fund several programs, including providing food for the needy. Salvation Army officials say emergency food requests are up across the region, including a 42 percent jump in the number of people seeking assistance from the Aurora Corps, which includes Naperville.
The Salvation Army's Metropolitan Division serves more than 137,000 people during the holiday season, and delivers more than 30,000 food baskets, 56,000 articles of clothing and 153,000 toys.