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Inspired By Ring Donation, Woman Gives Diamond Cross To Salvation Army In Brookline

BROOKLINE (CBS) -- Dropping diamonds into Salvation Army donation kettles is starting to catch on in the Boston area.

Just weeks after an anonymous benefactor intentionally placed her wedding ring and a diamond engagement ring in a North Station red kettle, the Salvation Army has received more precious gemstones. An Australian donor, citing the ring gifts as inspiration, put a diamond-encrusted cross pendant into a red kettle outside a Stop & Shop in Brookline.

The Salvation Army believes the generous gift -- valued at $1,500 --  is from a woman who came to the United States from Australia with her young son. The diamond cross was found earlier this month in a white envelope by a Salvation Army volunteer sorting through donations.

"Since relocating, people have been so warm, friendly, kind and accommodating to us, and I have been trying to think of a way to give back to the people of Boston," she wrote in a note accompanying the cross pendant.

The woman said she saw a story on the news about a woman donating rings to the Salvation Army to buy toys for children in need.

Rings donated to the Salvation Army by a widow (Photo credit Salvation Army)

"This inspired me, and I have enclosed this diamond cross, which is symbolic of Christmas, and ask that you sell it and use the money to help those less fortunate this Christmas, as my way of thanking the people of Boston, particularly Brookline, for welcoming us into their hearts, and allowing my son and I to be happy again," she wrote.

The white gold cross contains 12 diamonds and an informal appraisal values it at $1,500.

"There's something special happening here in Boston," Salvation Army Captain Myron Smith said in a statement. "We're blessed and overwhelmed with this latest donation of a diamond-encrusted cross and it's great to see Bostonians inspired by acts of generosity during this holiday season."

Last week, a former bellringer offered $21,000 to the Salvation Army for the two donated rings. She plans to reunite the rings with the donor, who said she gave the gift in memory of her late husband.


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