With these rings, real charity

You may recall the story in this space a week or so ago about the widow who dropped her wedding and engagement rings in a Salvation Army red kettle in Massachusetts, and the woman who bought them for $21,000 with the goal of returning them to the original owner.

The only thing that needed to happen was locating the woman.

That has now been done and the rings have been returned.

The Boston Globe says after reading about the offer, the first widow revealed her identity to Armida Harper, a Salvation Army captain and frequent bellringer, 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. 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.

Related: The Christmas Job (WBUR’s Cognoscenti).