Salvation Army Surprises

Monday, December 13, 2010 - 8:58am

Bell ringer catalogs decades of strange items dropped in Salvation Army kettles.

Subway tokens. Gold teeth. Condoms.

They're not what you'd expect to find in a Salvation Army donation kettle, but it happens.

"Car keys, house keys, and a lot, a lot, of pocket lint," said Major Robert Green, when asked what other kind of things show up in the kettle.

Green has collected 31 years of oddities and posted the on a "Wall of Fame."

His finds include coins from Asia, Europe and Africa.

He also displays several stainless steel World War II pennies from the United States, alongside a coin from Germany from the 1940s.

"A German penny from the Third Reich, 1940. It came in Tulsa Oklahoma," Green said.

Green shows off food stamps and a fake $1 trillion bill both shoved into red kettles.

But the jewelry is the most interesting part of the display, from fake gold necklaces and bracelets to gold teeth.

"This is one of those fake caps you can buy, and it's got a marijuana leaf etched it in," Green said.

Some things are worth more than expected.

Someone recently placed a $1,400 South African Krugerrand in a kettle at Elliott's Hardware in Dallas, Texas.

Green said every year, he takes the coin and jewelry to pawn shops and coin dealers to sell.

The money then goes back to the Salvation Army.

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