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Salvation Army Gold Coin Mystery
A coin dropped into a Salvation Army kettle last week in Naperville has made headlines. It was a $400 gold coin wrapped in a $1 million bill (the $1 million bill was fake). This brings up the mystery of just who's behind this tradition of dropping gold coins into Salvation Army kettles. Apparently the tradition dates back to 1982, when a gold coin was dropped into a kettle in a Chicago suburb. Gold coins have shown up in kettles in many states ever since then. Some think the coins are donated by people who benefitted from the charity in the past. But others suspect it may all be a publicity stunt engineered by the Salvation Army itself. After all, news reports about the gold coins always seem to encourage more donations. I suppose it's a hoax for a good cause, if it is a hoax.
Categories: Business/Finance
Posted by Alex on Wed Dec 22, 2004
Comments (33)
More from the Hoax Museum Archives:
remember FX2?
Posted by Loxx  on  Wed Dec 22, 2004  at  03:16 PM
Damn, that's where I left that Krugerand. Think they'll give it back?
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Wed Dec 22, 2004  at  03:53 PM
Last year, I was standing with my two teenagers outside a bookstore in the city. There was a limo out front, the door opened, and Whoopi Goldberg got out.
She walked past us to the bell-ringer, and stood for a few minutes pushing what must have been hundreds of dollars into his bucket.

Not a hoax, but it left a lasting impression on my kids.
They both contributed that day, and were anxious to do it again this year.
Sometimes setting examples works.
Posted by new york guy  on  Wed Dec 22, 2004  at  03:55 PM
Of coures Whoopi could have gone to and donated online more conveniently and safely. Of course, then nobody would see her getting out of a limo and being generous. Then again, it did encourage your kids so I suppose publicity has its purpose.
Posted by Brian  on  Wed Dec 22, 2004  at  07:00 PM
Maybe it was a whim of the moment. Your average citizen might drop a dollar or five, and if you multiply that by the difference between an average salary and Whoopi's income, you'll see that "hundreds of dollars" is just pocket change to a mega star.
Posted by cvirtue  on  Thu Dec 23, 2004  at  07:32 AM
probablya stoy made up by the Salvation Army themselves. People don't like to admit it, but they ARE a cult, so be careful.
Posted by mr man  on  Thu Dec 23, 2004  at  08:22 AM
...What's FX2?
Posted by Maegan  on  Thu Dec 23, 2004  at  08:30 AM
Not a cult member!
I'm sure celebrities donate privately, but it was just nice to see it in person.
There was no attempt to bring attention to it either- just the opposite. She kinda just blended in.
Posted by new york guy- again  on  Thu Dec 23, 2004  at  12:10 PM
I did some aid work overseas, and maybe it's more different overseas than at home, but man the humanitarian business can be nasty. It is very competitive to the point where the competition hurts efforts instead of helps it. Aid agencies view the money as a pie and they are trying to get the biggest slice they can, and sometimes they will do almost unethical things to get it. The agency that I worked for claimed to have developed institutions that weren't actually created. Aid groups will talk trash about each other and won't share information that could help. One organization dug 400 wells that were too shallow... sounded great on paper that they dug 400 wells, but because they were so shallow the water wasn't potable and became a source of disease. Anyway, my point is, humanitarian aid is good, but aid orgs are a business like any other and can do unethical things.
Posted by Brian  on  Thu Dec 23, 2004  at  05:01 PM
FX2 is a movie involving a number of golden coins stolen from the vatican. (I think)
They are returned at the end of the movie
by being placed in the collection plate at a church

(or something like that, it's more than a decade since I saw it. (it's the sequel the FX/Murder by illusion and I think has the subtitle 'The deadly art of illusion' or something similar))
Posted by Sharruma  on  Fri Dec 24, 2004  at  06:55 PM
No matter what you think of them,they make a difference to a lot of people.
Posted by Evey  on  Sat Dec 25, 2004  at  12:30 PM
The Salvation Army uses money people donate to fight against Gay and Lesbian people in many countries throughout the world... So, your money helps fund HATRED.
Posted by SA Hates  on  Sun Dec 26, 2004  at  01:36 AM
SA Hates, if you're going to make an assertion like that you need to cite sources.
Posted by cvirtue  on  Sun Dec 26, 2004  at  09:05 AM
SA Hates, what do they do, use the money to buy guns so they can shoot us all? And how is that any different from your average American redneck?
Posted by James D  on  Sun Dec 26, 2004  at  02:33 PM
but somebody can also say that supporting gay people does promote AIDS, also that anti-AIDS compain is against gay life style which means it is anti-gay. Just don't be so nerrow minded. SA is organization that uses monney received from Normal people to help Normal people.
Posted by Loxx  on  Mon Dec 27, 2004  at  02:46 PM
The only HATE I can see it is a hate of freedom. Some people cannot stand person right to decide whom they want to like and help. These drones dream about some kind of highest power, a superman to make all choises, to split all money evenly between everybody.
If people do not like you and do not want to give you free stuff - do not blame people, look at yourself.
Posted by Grrr  on  Mon Dec 27, 2004  at  08:53 PM
"but somebody can also say that supporting gay people does promote AIDS, also that anti-AIDS compain is against gay life style which means it is anti-gay."

Uh, that is making the incredibly stupid (for lack of a more polite way to say it) assumption that all gay people have or will get AIDS. That being gay causes AIDS. That gay people are the only people who get AIDS. I don't know what fantasy land "somebody" is in that they would say that, but it's about time they come back to the real world.
Posted by James D  on  Thu Dec 30, 2004  at  02:17 PM
The US Army could totally kick the Salvation Army's butt!!!! Woo-hoo!!! GO USA!
Posted by brian  on  Mon Jan 03, 2005  at  12:53 PM
The Salvation Army had better disarm soon or else we should invade Salvatia.
Posted by skip  on  Tue Jan 04, 2005  at  07:26 PM
The scripture itself warn not to let pop culture/media/politics shape a person's thought process. Unfortunately religious groups like SA have fallen into the trap.

What happens when someone with a genius IQ spends 20 years looking over the "H0M0-S3X" issue in the Bible? <-- that's what happens.

And what happens when that same person looks into SCRIPTURAL MARRIAGE vs. the thing the government pushes?

This leaves the salvation Army & those groups like them [501(c)(3)'churches', ex-gays, etc.] DAMNED - by their very own Bibles (Romans 2:1 doesn't budge). Of course, the people spreading Sexually Transmitted Diseases & claiming their torts against humanity are "rights" are just as damned; - as are those who support either group.

Stupid Judges. Lying Lawyers. Complicit Jurors.
Posted by Goyim Veh  on  Wed Nov 23, 2005  at  02:14 AM
hoax by the salvation army?

You stupid , brainless idiot.

how does someone as stupid as you even know how to start a car.
Posted by th man  on  Fri Dec 09, 2005  at  04:43 AM
The coins found in the kettle where not a hoax and also were not a stunt. My dad is the Salvation Army Officer who is in charge in the suburb where the coins were found. Although the person wants to be kept anynomous, they do know who is responsible for the coins. The Salvation Army is not a cult. Keep in mind all of the good that this money is used for and all of the aid that the Salvation Army has been providing for so many years.
Posted by Cheryl  on  Sun Dec 11, 2005  at  09:53 PM
the salavation army hounds old popel and becomes there freand and gets them to sine there will over toi them and them tells that menlaly ill person not to vilinter enymore work becouse that person stinks insted of help the old man thay terned there bsack on him just for him mony vary sad of and orginization to do
Posted by lynn  on  Wed Jul 12, 2006  at  09:40 AM
the gold coins are "true giving"- done anonymously; and so, without any gratification for the giver- except knowing they have given a form of financial help to the SA. this began in the quad cities back in the late 90s. the SA helps people in need. those who cut down the SA also need- need some mental help.
Posted by cassiel  on  Sat Dec 02, 2006  at  07:49 AM
The Salvation Army is not a cult. I am a church member. We go by the Bible. We help people because Jesus helped people. We try to help them heal their hurts; whether physical, mental or spiritual. We learn about God and how we can help in the community where we live.
We do not endorse being gay. We will not turn you away if you need help. We let God be the judge. I also work for The Salvation Army. I am the administrative support person. My pay is meager. Monies donated are used for the intention of the donation.
The gold coins! They were not planted. People just like to give them. We get excited over them because most often, we don't know their worth yet. It's just a way of having fun while doing kettles-getting excited over the gold coins.
Posted by Connie  on  Wed Aug 06, 2008  at  02:00 PM
mr man is right - the Salvation Army is a cult. How do I know? Because I have been working there for years now. I pray I will be able to get out, and get out soon! Don't give your money to the Salvation Army - give it to your local church.
Posted by Anonymous  on  Tue May 05, 2009  at  05:28 PM
It's normal. Now we have go USA. Hey!!!
Posted by Andrew  on  Sun Jul 12, 2009  at  08:51 AM
Knowing that the Salvation Army is actively anti-gay, I no longer give to them. Instead, there are plenty of organizations that provide charity and do not seek to prevent gay people from being full and free citizens of this country. They accept tax dollars and still get away with discriminating because they are a religious organization. If I could withhold my portion of the fed taxes that support the SA, I would do that. Yes, they help people, but there are other charities that also help people and don't discriminate against gay people.
Posted by Tom  on  Fri Dec 25, 2009  at  08:20 PM
William Booth's "army" has been helping people for over a century.
The greatest film made is called Tales of forward to the savation army tale staring Edward G.'ll reach into your pockets the next time you see the man and woman in the red cape ringing the bell!
Posted by Loree  on  Wed Jan 06, 2010  at  02:52 PM
Salvation Army would never do such a thing. I work for them and know first hand. We would not do a thing like that. People are just being generous. For all of you that are scrooges and think Salvation Army is a waste, Karma is all I gotta say.
Posted by Melissa  on  Thu Jan 07, 2010  at  05:28 PM
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