MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD. — Bells will be ringing and George Hairston will be the joyful man to wish you happy holidays at the Flower Hill Giant Food Store in Gaithersburg.
It’s what he did last week when he noticed something different.
“That day, I noticed this man with a hospital mask on his face. And he had this big thing,” said Hairston, who has been a ringing the bell at the red kettles for the Salvation Army for three years. “And it took time for him to put it in there. You can see the hole is not that big,” he said.
A card was wrapped around a gold coin.
“It says ‘Glory to God in the highest and on Earth, peace, goodwill towards men’,” said Capt. Karl Dahlin with the Salvation Army.
So far, the man in the medical mask is anonymous.
“We’ll be using all of these funds to support our programs that are with emergency assistance programs,” said Dahlin.
The coin says $50 on it, but the real value is in the weight. It’s one ounce of pure gold and it could be worth more than $1,300.
The Salvation Army will hold onto it until after Christmas to see if the donor comes forward. If not, they will cash in the value.
It’s happened before, but this one comes at a good time.
“The statistics say we’re down 13% percent over the same day last year,” said Dahlin.
People dropping in donations are learning about the generosity and hoping others are inspired.
“When someone does something like this, it tells people even the little things matter,” said Luis Orozco, a donor.