The ring Borsheims gave in 2016, its first year of the contest, is pictured at left, while the 2017 winner is at right.
Omaha, Neb.--After having a tough year, Lori Miller decided to get into the holiday spirit by giving back through The Salvation Army, and her altruistic decision ended up paying off unexpectedly.

Miller was the 2017 winner of the Borsheims Big Ring contest, in which people who rang bells for the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign between Nov. 11 and 23 were entered to win a diamond ring.

A resident of nearby Blair, Nebraska, Miller had lost the diamond from her original wedding ring last year, just as she and her husband were celebrating their 15th anniversary.

Her husband also was in a car accident, breaking his right knee and his right heel, and had to undergo five operations last year. He just returned to work at the end of the year.

To teach her sons that there are people less fortunate who need help, she signed up to ring bells with The Salvation Army this winter.

Needless to say, she was thrilled to be named the winner of the drawing even though she told the Omaha World-Herald that she didn’t know there had been a contest.

The ring she was given features a 0.55-carat round center stone, plus a double diamond halo and stones on the shank (all accent stones weighed a total of 0.49 carats) in 14-karat white gold. It retails for $5,395.

This was the second year for the Big Ring contest, which not only gives a ring to someone who is giving back but also helps The Salvation Army.

The organization said through the campaign, Borsheims inspired people to sign up for bell-ringing shifts; almost 93 percent of bell-ringing shifts in Omaha this year were filled by volunteers, compared with only 89 percent last year and 73 percent two years ago.

The money raised from the Red Kettle campaign goes to The Salvation Army’s human need fund, providing food, housing, youth development and other social service needs.

“We love being a part of this wonderful effort by The Salvation Army,” Borsheims President and CEO Karen Goracke said. “Our employees join in the bell-ringing fun, volunteering to ring more than 35 hours at our busiest time of year. We are so happy to see Ms. Miller win, and hope the new diamond ring brings her and her family much joy.”

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