Day 528: Penny power

Don’t want to shock you, but there’s a movement afoot to get rid of the Canadian penny … I know. Crazy talk.

Australia has taken this radical step, and now must to resort to rounding off store prices for vegemite and such.

As I’ve mentioned before, I used to get a mini-thrill every time I picked up a lucky penny from the sidewalk. I say “used to” because I now resist the urge so someone else can have the pleasure of finding the one-cent treasure.

That’s what I did today, along with donating some change (including pennies) to a collection for Haiti. Turns out, it wasn’t the only such collection going, and when I heard the following story on my local radio station, I found today’s Everyday Hero … or, in this case, Heroes.

Penny Drive for Haiti
excerpted from CBC radio story

It isn’t the largest donation towards Haitian relief — but it may be the most generous and heartfelt.

Students from Secord Elementary School in Toronto‘s east end gave their change – pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters – and when they had finished they had raised $1,500. They intend to give the money to the Canadian Red Cross and Free the Children.

“I thought we’d raise a few hundred dollars. I never thought it would balloon into this,” said Andreas Koch, the teacher who came up with the idea for the coin drive.

The neighbourhood surrounding Secord ES is not an affluent one. The homes are working class. But the students, who range in age from four to 11, embraced the idea of giving to those less fortunate.

Some, like Miriam Yacubaga, gave up their chocolate milk at lunchtime and donated their milk money to the coin drive.

NOOOOOOOO!!!!! It makes no cents!

“I would like to see them buy food and clothing, shelter, all that kind of stuff, that will keep them healthy and warm,” said Miriam.

Justin Carusso brought in all the spare change he could find because “people in Haiti are having a hard time.”

Lisa Mozer, the school principal, says she’s proud of what her students have accomplished.

“We have a lot of poverty in the community and it just shows you that people are extremely generous. They can empathize with the people in Haiti,” she said.

For his part, Koch says the students have not only demonstrated incredible generosity, but “they are learning that there’s bigger things going on than just their life. Sure they are having a bad day but somebody else out there has it worse – and they can make a difference, even if it’s small.”

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Day 528: Penny power

  1. My daughter has an electronic piggy bank that represents a wealth building reserve for her. Recently, some people were at the door for donations and she decided she wanted to give $3 of her net worth towards the cause. I really liked that she insisted she use her own money.

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