BOSTON (CBS) -- One widow's sentimental gift to the Salvation Army has led to donors dropping not just dollars, but valuable jewelry into red kettles across Massachusetts this holiday season.
Earlier this month, a woman placed her wedding ring and a diamond engagement ring – worth nearly $2,000 – in a red kettle at Boston's North Station with a note saying that she did it in memory of her generous late husband. Shortly after, a woman donated a $1,500 diamond cross pendant to the Salvation Army in Brookline, writing that she was inspired by the widow's actions and wanted to thank the local community for welcoming her and her young son from Australia.
On Wednesday, the charity announced two more donations – a complete wedding set with a $2,600 diamond ring placed in a Weymouth red kettle, and a gold bracelet, diamond ring and diamond pendant gifted in Fitchburg.
"Please use proceeds for a drug addiction rehab. May God bless you! Love, Another widow (with a drug-addicted son)," read a note placed with the jewelry in a red kettle outside a Weymouth Stop & Shop.
A note left with the Fitchburg donation read, "I've been blessed in my life and I'm sharing those blessings. Please sell and share."
The charity said it's been "overwhelmed" by the outpouring of support.
"Generous donors contribute a portion of what they have to ensure that children will have a brighter Christmas and that families and seniors will get the resources they need all year round," Salvation Army Major David B. Davis said. "These gifts are elevating that spirit of giving to a new level."
The Salvation Army said the original donor was reunited with her rings on Monday, by another widow who gave $21,000 to the charity and wanted to see the rings returned. That money is going toward toys for children.
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