A Salvation Army Red Kettle contained a little more than cash after a diamond engagement ring and wedding band were found inside a red kettle Thursday night.

The jewelry was discovered at a kettle location outside Malicki’s Piggly Wiggly, 5201 Washington Ave.

“The ring and wedding band are a matching set and were found separated by a blue ribbon that tied them together,” said Major Ken Nicolai, Corps Officer of the Racine Salvation Army.

The rings are worth between $800 and $1,000, but that’s a preliminary market appraisal. The rings — which are considered a donation — will be sold and the proceeds will be used by the Salvation Army in its mission to help people in need.

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 year the Red Kettle fund-raising campaign kicked off Nov. 17.


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.

Three years ago an engagement ring was also found in a red kettle at the Pick’n Save at 1202 Green Bay Road.

“The finding of the rings continues what has been a very good start to the Kettle Campaign season,” said Nicolai. “We are grateful for this generous gift.”

The holiday giving season has been better this year as the nonprofit saw a record day total of $19,658.31 on Nov. 25 during SC Johnson Corporation match day.

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