Strange but valuable donations left in Salvation Army red kettles

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- From jewelry to rare coins and other items, the Salvation Army in Winston-Salem has been getting some very odd yet valuable non-cash donations in their red kettles.

On Monday, someone put a diamond rind, gold nugget and a pair of gold earrings wrapped in a dollar bill in a kettle.

Last year, several pieces of jewelry were found in red kettles.

The nonprofit keeps them locked in a safe just in case they fell in by mistake, but officials say they're usually donations that come with a hand-written note.

Major James Allison says the strangest red kettle donation he’s seen in his four years was a gold tooth.

“That was a happy and sad moment,” said Allison, area commander for the Salvation Army. “You kind of look at it and go ‘Wow, this is really sacrificial giving’ or ‘How did this happen?’”

Allison says all donations, no matter how odd, go toward helping the thousands of people they serve each month.

“Everything that comes to the Salvation Army, we’re able to put that to use,” Allison said.

The nonprofit says the donation made this week will help make up for money lost earlier this month after two red kettles were stolen.