ALTON - A generous donor has provided a half-ounce gold coin valued at an estimated $900 for the Salvation Army in Alton at a most crucial time in this year's bell-ringing campaign.

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Capt. Sean Grey of the Salvation Army in Alton confirmed the gift Christmas Eve morning. It was the second gold coin gift in about a week.

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"It is a very generous gift," he said. "It is just amazing someone is willing to donate the gold coin and that much all at once. They have to have a heart for helping people."

As of Tuesday, Grey said the Salvation Army in Alton bell-ringing campaign was at $55,000 and short of the $106,000 goal. The kettle campaign concludes at 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve. He said the funds are needed for the needed operations the organization provides throughout the year.

"Wednesday and Thursday were very busy," he said. "We hope people give generously today on Christmas Eve and continue to give in the mail and website portion of the campaign. We encourage people to get out and put in a dollar in the kettle today."

Taylor and Lily Freer, co-chairs of this year's campaign, encouraged people to give today and continue to give through the mail-in campaign.

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