SAVOY, Ill. (WCIA) — A few weeks ago, a Salvation Army kettle was stolen in Savoy.
It has now been found and returned to the organization in Champaign.
The kettle was found in an Urbana dumpster recently. The Salvation Army says they’re happy to have to back.
“We are thankful that we found it because our minds go through a whole bunch of scenarios about what could have happened,” said Randall Summit, a member of the Salvation Army. “We’re very thankful we found the entire equipment all there.”
A generous donor gave $300 following the incident, but more donations followed suit.
The Illini men’s basketball game last weekend helped the organization raise around $25,000. On the same day, Summit said people were eager to help at the Savoy location.
“There was a line of people at that location waiting to make donations,” said Summit, “just an amazing place we live, it is.”
Urbana Police is investigating the stolen red kettle, but the Salvation Army has not pressed charges.
“Unfortunately because of exactly when it happened and where it happened at, there’s no strong video footage to help us out,” said Summit.
Despite the minor setback, staff at the Urbana location unveiled a first during this year’s campaign: A gold coin worth around $300 wrapped in a one-dollar bill.
“It’s always exciting, you know everyone gathers around that and gets excited about it,” said Summit.
Summit said it’s all made possible with volunteers along with that.
“People are coming out of Covid and there’s a little bit more generosity happening,” said Summit. “We help thousands upon thousands of people right here in Champaign County, so when someone does something like that, it’s very much appreciated and it’s really heartwarming.
Summit said they have collected around $98,000 of their $155,000 budget for the red kettle campaign.