Anonymous donor puts diamond ring in Salvation Army kettle

<p>Diamond Ring</p>

Diamond Ring

The familiar Salvation Army red kettles always provide a lift to those in need during the holiday season.

Most people usually drop a few coins or a couple of dollar bills inside, but not always.

This week, Salvation Army employees found a diamond ring in one of the kettles from an anonymous donor.

Employees say this donation will help make sure that more families in the Tri-Cities will have whatever they need to have a worry-free holiday season.

And this year, the need for help in our area is greater than last year, so a donation like this will go a long way.

Salvation Army major Julio Vasquez says he couldn't believe his eyes when he started going through this week's donations from the annual kettle drive.

"When our volunteers came in and opened this kettle, they found a ring, a diamond ring. And all the volunteers just broke up in applause and cheering" said Vasquez.

Sometime on Monday, an anonymous person put a white gold diamond ring into a kettle at the Richland Walmart.

The ring was in a small zip lock bag, and it was wrapped in a $20 bill, so Salvation Army employees had no idea what they received until they started counting the donations by hand.

"It's quite a surprise for us, a really good surprise" said Vasquez.

Also in the bag was note about the ring.

It states "This was just gathering dust in my jewelry box as a sad reminder. It will do more good with you. Merry Christmas."

"I think that's pretty amazing. It's the time of year for people to give, and sometimes they have the extra and can give out. So God bless them and all they do" said Chris Anthis, Kennewick resident.

Salvation Army employees say with the ring, they'll be able to make sure that more families in our area will have money for food, presents, and heat in their homes during the holidays.

"It's the difference between either losing their home or just being able to have a decent Christmas" said Nathan Bower, bell ringer.

And for the person out there who donated the ring, Vasquez has a message of gratitude.

"Thank you for making our job, our ministry much easier. We're gonna be able to help more families because of her, I believe, the anonymous donor. So thank you. God bless you" said Vasquez.

Last year, the Salvation Army helped 525 Tri-Cities families during the holidays.

This year, there are 575, with more than 3,000 children, and families who need help are still calling in for assistance.

Salvation Army volunteers are still determining the value of the ring.

They plan to get it appraised within the next couple days.