Viagra and Other ‘Oddities’ Tossed Into Salvation Army Kettles

Medication, including Viagra, was found in this year's Salvation Army kettles.
Medication, including Viagra, was found in this year’s Salvation Army kettles.
Salvation Army kettles are a holiday staple. Millions of people dig through their purse or pockets to toss a few coins or bills into the collection buckets. But, money isn’t the only thing that ends up in those bright red piggy banks. Everything from Viagra to gold teeth is found inside every year.

The odd stuff people donate

Every year, the Salvation Army finds some interesting things dropped in the kettles, according to the Wall Street Journal. This year, outside the Walmart in Colorado Springs, someone dropped a gold dental bridge into the kettle – compete with a tooth attached.

In Joplin, Missouri someone donated a total of $50,000 in cashier’s checks. The donor only wrote “From Secret Santa” on them.

Valuable coins are sometimes added to the collection. An 1864 Civil War token was dropped in a kettle in Buffalo, NY. It’s worth about $100. Other rare coins collected from various sites across the U.S. this year are worth about $2400.

Across the country, Salvation Army officials said, kettle oddities include: euros, paper clips, guitar picks, toothpicks, screws, bolts, a sobriety coin, batteries, charms, tokens from Chuck E. Cheese’s, casino chips, lottery tickets, distinctive blue Viagra pills, bandages, press-on nails and lint.

The non-profit prefers bills or coins.
The non-profit prefers bills or coins.
The reason behind the odd stuff

In some cases, people want to give but don’t have any money to do so. They elect to toss a gold coin in or something else of value rather than cash. Others may feel guilty about not adding to the kettle when they walk by, so they toss in whatever they have in their pocket.

While the Salvation Army prefers cash or check, some of the odd donations have amounted to a nice contribution.

The Salvation Army raised $148.7 million last year, mostly from cash and coin, but some came from odd donations that were worth a few bucks.

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