For Larissa Hubka and Fisher Zawasky, Grade 6 students at Frank J. Ney Elementary School, the Christmas morning present opening ritual is important.
It makes them feel happy and cared for to receive gifts and they want all children to experience the same thing.
Which is why they participate in the Nanaimo News Bulletin’s annual Pennies for Presents campaign.
The campaign collects change, rolls it for deposit and then gives the money to three charities in Nanaimo that help children – the Great Nanaimo Toy Drive, the Nanaimo Boys and Girls Club and the Salvation Army.
“I think it’s important that everyone gets a gift because it makes them feel special and loved,” said Zawasky.
Each of the school’s 10 classes have a Pennies for Presents collection jar and are in friendly competition with each other and the office to collect the most change.
Hubka and Zawasky are doing their part to help weigh their class’s jar down by raiding piggy banks and the pockets of relatives.
“My mom’s got a big crock pot and she fills it with pennies,” said Zawasky.
Hubka breaks open her piggy bank and hits up her parents and grandparents for change. She said the campaign teaches students to share what they have with the less fortunate when they are able to.
Principal Susann Young thinks the school has participated in the Pennies for Presents campaign ever since the school opened 12 years ago.
“It’s a good cause,” she said, adding the school is also collecting food for the Christmas hamper program.
Donations to the Pennies for Presents campaign can be made until Dec. 21 at the Nanaimo 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.
For more information, please call 250-734-4626 or e-mail email@example.com.
People with Pennies photos and stories to share can submit them by e-mail or to www.facebook.com/nanaimobulletin.