News

Spare change adds up in annual penny drive

These young members of the Chase River Boys and Girls Club stopped by the News Bulletin Thursday afternoon to drop off a plethora of pennies for the Pennies for Presents Campaign, which runs until Dec. 21. From left to right: Caris Watson, Ryan Klapstein, Taylor Walker, Jenn McGarrigle, with the News Bulletin, Aurora Mitchell and Rhys Edwards. - NIOMI PEARSON photo
These young members of the Chase River Boys and Girls Club stopped by the News Bulletin Thursday afternoon to drop off a plethora of pennies for the Pennies for Presents Campaign, which runs until Dec. 21. From left to right: Caris Watson, Ryan Klapstein, Taylor Walker, Jenn McGarrigle, with the News Bulletin, Aurora Mitchell and Rhys Edwards.
— image credit: NIOMI PEARSON photo

A handful of spare change adds up when you multiply it over and over.

That is the idea behind the Nanaimo News Bulletin’s annual Pennies for Presents campaign – a whole bunch of people supporting in a small way to make a big difference.

The campaign collects spare change for distribution to three charities that support children in Nanaimo – the Great Nanaimo Toy Drive, the Nanaimo Boys and Girls Club and the Salvation Army.

Money raised goes to ensuring every child has a Christmas present waiting for them under the tree and to helping low-income families get the fixings they need to celebrate together over the holidays.

Since 1996, the campaign has raised almost $154,000 in Nanaimo – a testament to how much pocket change adds up when schools, businesses and residents chip in to help make a difference in children’s lives.

This week is the public’s last chance to participate in this annual fundraiser, as the 2012 campaign wraps up tomorrow (Dec. 21).

People can drop off donations at the News Bulletin office at 777 Poplar St. or one of the community drop-off locations: InPrint downtown, John’s Bedroom Barn, Northridge Fitness, Canadian Tire, Sink or Swim Scuba, La-Z-Boy, Royal LePage at Brooks Landing, Coast Realty downtown, the ICBC Driver Licensing Office on Metral Drive, Quality Foods in University Village and Cline Medical Centre on Prideaux Street.

Donations do not have to be rolled – our volunteers at Berwick on the Lake do the penny rolling for the campaign and Tom and Wig MacDonald roll all of the silver coins – and denominations of all kinds are accepted, from pennies, nickels and dimes to $100 bills.

Besides helping out a good cause, there is another good reason to get rid of your copper coins – the federal government plans to eliminate the penny from Canada’s coinage system and the Royal Canadian Mint will stop circulating pennies in February.

For more information about the campaign, please call 250-734-4626 or e-mail reporter@nanaimobulletin.com.

People are also welcome to share their Pennies campaign photos and stories at www.facebook.com/nanaimobulletin.

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