Valuable rings dropped in Salvation Army kettles

Maui (HawaiiNewsNow) -Salvation Army Captain Mark Merritt, corps officer in Kahului, was pleasantly surprised to discover one diamond ring and one gold band dropped into one of his kettles on Maui.

"Last year, we also had two rings put in our kettles," Merritt said.

One was a diamond cocktail ring valued at $1,500 and the other a jade ring valued at $400.

"But what touched me was one morning when one of our homeless clients who struggles with alcohol addiction came up to me and pulled his pulled his pocket inside out and got about 42 pennies. It was all the money he had in the world and he put them all into the kettle."

Despite the extraordinary ways people give, collections this year from the red kettles are down by about 17 percent compared to last year, according to Major Edward Hill, divisional commander of The Salvation Army.

"We're hoping that in the next two weeks before the ending of the Christmas season, we will at least meet last year's level of giving," Hill said.

Donations received from The Salvation Army's red kettles help sustain the various programs that provide assistance to many underprivileged families throughout the entire year.