The tale of the two widows who kept our holiday cheer alight this month with their generous donations to the Salvation Army has come to a happy close.
Moved by one woman’s quiet (and anonymous) donation of a diamond engagement ring — valued at $1,850 — and her late husband’s wedding band, a second woman offered the Salvation Army $21,000 for the rings and asked that they be returned.
The rings were finally reunited with their original owner in an emotional private meeting between the two widows on Monday, according to a statement from the Salvation Army.
After reading about the second widow’s stunning offer for her rings, the first widow decided to reveal her identity to Armida Harper, a Salvation Army captain and frequent bellringer at North Station, and agreed to an in-person meeting.
Harper and her husband, also a Salvation Army officer, were the only other people present at Monday’s meeting between the two widows. The Harpers oversee The Salvation Army Cambridge Corps Community Center, which will handle the $21,000 gift.
“I have chills,’’ Michael Harper said in a statement. “Both of these women are heroes to me, to all of us at the Salvation Army. I count it a privilege to have witnessed everything that’s occurred today. It is the true meaning of Christmas.’’
Over the course of their meeting, the two women — both of whom are choosing to remain anonymous — discovered that they had each volunteered as bell ringers with the Salvation Army in the past. Both agreed that spending the holiday season without their husbands was difficult, but that their spirits were buoyed by each’s act of generosity.
“You’ve made my Christmas,’’ the second donor told the first.
“You’ve made mine,’’ the ring donor replied.