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IMG_0049-1One Salvation Army kettle contained a surprise gift — a diamond engagement ring set.

And the way it was left in the kettle has led officials to believe that the rings were a donation.

Major Ken Nicolai, Salvation Army Corps officer in Racine, said the ring set was found in a kettle at the Pick’n Save located at 1202 South Green Bay Road on Tuesday.

Part of the universal Christian church, the Racine Salvation Army helps those in need by offering food, disaster relief, and other services to people who have disabilities, those with illnesses, are elderly and homeless.

This isn’t the first time wedding rings have been donated to the Salvation Army. During its red kettle campaign, a widow in Boston dropped her wedding ring into a red kettle with a note asking that someone “buy the ring for ‘ten times its worth’ and raise even more funds for the needy,'” according to a story in the Boston Globe.

Other wedding rings have also be donated in Wisconsin, Nicolai said.

While there was no letter accompanying this donation, Nicolai believes the way the rings were donated wasn’t by accident.

“We do believe that in this case, this was a donation,” Nicolai said. “If it was a case of someone losing the ring — they would have let the bell ringer know right away and we would have opened it up to find it or they would have called the office. But no one has come forward.”

One of the volunteers is a jewelry appraiser, and he told Nicolai that the diamond engagement set is authentic.

“It is a continuation of the unexpected generosity shown to The Salvation Army this past week.” Nicolai said.

The service organization also saw an increase in the number of volunteers step forward to help on Saturday, which produced a record $17,398.

SC Johnson also “double matched” the amount on Monday. Last week Nicolai said they could be as much as $50,000 short. Now they are about $20,000 away from their goal. But Nicolai believes that they can meet the goal by the end of the year.

“We’re still getting donations in through mail,” Nicolai said.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.