In Fla., A Mystery, Annual Gift To Salvation Army For the third year in a row, a Liberty Eagle gold coin worth almost $1,000 was dropped in a Salvation Army kettle. Each time, the coin has been accompanied by a small note, "In memory of Mimi." Megan Spears, resource management director of The Salvation Army of Lee County, Fla., talks about the donation.

In Fla., A Mystery, Annual Gift To Salvation Army

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


You see them everywhere this time of year, those Salvation Army volunteers ringing bells and collecting spare change. Well, this year, for the third year in a row, someone has left something special in that red kettle in Lee County, Florida. Megan Spears is with the Lee County Salvation Army in Fort Myers. And Ms. Spears, tell us, what is that something special?

Ms. MEGAN SPEARS (Resource Management Director, Lee County Salvation Army): Well, this year is again is the third year that we have found a Double Eagle golden coin in one of our kettles. It's actually called a Liberty Double Eagle coin. It ranges in value anywhere from 900 to 1,100 dollars.

NORRIS: So this was quite a generous donation?

Ms. SPEARS: It was an extremely generous donation, and to make it even more special, there is always a note that accompanies these gold coins. For the last three years, we've seen a very carefully handwritten note that says, "In memory of Mimi."

NORRIS: And you have no idea who did this. It's not signed.

Ms. SPEARS: It's not signed. That gift has shown up for the last three years at different sites on different days all throughout the kettle campaign. We have so many volunteers that come through this season. We'd love to brief them all to keep an eye out for the handler of the golden coin, but we haven't been able to.

NORRIS: If, by some twist of faith, you actually had a chance to meet this mystery donor, what would you say to him or her?

Ms. SPEARS: Well, I think the first thing, I probably wouldn't be able to say anything. I think I'd just have to give them a huge hug. There's such a good heart inside this person to continue to do something for so long. And I don't think there's anything more to say than, thank you so very much, and just to tell them how appreciative we are.

NORRIS: So on the chance that that person might be listening to us, I guess, we'll just say thank you before we say goodbye.

Ms. SPEARS: That would be wonderful. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

NORRIS: That's Megan Spears. She's with the Lee County Salvation Army. She joined us from Fort Myers, Florida.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.