The Salvation Army of Tulsa, Okla., was grateful Thursday for an anonymous benefactor, who for the 14th time in 15 years dropped a pure gold South African Krugerrand into one of the charity's donation kettles, the Tulsa World reported.

The coin, valued at $680, was wrapped in a “Merry Christmas” note that borrowed an iconic passage from Charles Dickens’ novel, “Great Expectations.”

“It is the same with any life,” the note read. “Imagine one selected day struck out of it and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold or thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.”

Tulsa Area Commander Maj. Roy Williams suspected that the secret Santa enjoys knowing that his or her generous donation “could change the course of a life,” he told the paper. Fittingly, Pip Pirrup, the leading character in “Great Expectations,” is propelled from rags to riches with the help of an anonymous benefactor.

Williams told the paper that the annual gift helps draw attention to the Salvation Army's work for families in need.

“You always want to know who it is, but you don’t want to ruin such a good thing, either,” Williams told the Tulsa World. “To me, this person is more than a donor. By giving a gold coin, they know they’re sparking interest in the kettle program.”

“Whoever’s doing this, thank you. You’re changing lives.”

Read more: http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20101222_11_0_TheSal698642