A couple's unusual move to donate the bride's wedding ring — believed to be worth several thousand dollars — during the Salvation Army's annual kettle drive will help food banks and other programs after it is auctioned off.
The couple, who are trying to guard their identity, walked up to a bell ringer on Dec. 22 and handed her a package with the ring and a note on the back that said although the two were still deeply in love that the Salvation Army could make better use of the diamond ring than they could. The brief note closed with the words "All for Jesus."
"She wanted to make it count," said Maj. Henry Hunter of the Dalton Corps of the Salvation Army. "A lot of lives will be touched through her generosity."
The ring is on display at a downtown Dalton jewelry store, and sealed bids are being accepted for the next 30 days, Hunter says. The ring, which has a .72-carat stone cut in a marquise brilliant shape, will go to the highest bidder.
Hunter said the couple took steps to remain anonymous. They e-mailed the Salvation Army to confirm that they received the donation, but they used a temporary account.
"They didn't want anything traceable," Hunter said.
It's not the first time someone has donated a wedding ring to the Salvation Army's annual drive.
In December 2007, someone dropped a gold wedding band into a kettle in Pierre, S.D.
Then, in December 2009, it happened again in Westminster, Colo., when someone placed an envelope in a Salvation Army kettle. Inside was an antique platinum and diamond wedding ring and a note that said "For the Salvation Army."