News Bulletin launches annual penny fundraiser

NANAIMO: The penny's days are numbered, so donate them to the News Bulletin's annual Pennies for Presents campaign.

News Bulletin’s annual Pennies for Presents campaign kicks off today (Nov. 15).

News Bulletin’s annual Pennies for Presents campaign kicks off today (Nov. 15).

There’s no longer a reason to pinch your pennies.

Last spring, the federal government announced it will eliminate the penny from Canada’s coinage system and the Royal Canadian Mint will stop circulating pennies in February.

The penny’s days are numbered and a good way to get rid of the currency is to donate them to the Nanaimo News Bulletin’s annual Pennies for Presents campaign.

While the penny’s burden to the economy has grown relative to its value as a means of payment – it costs the government 1.6 cents to produce every new penny – the Pennies for Presents campaign offers a  solution for people looking to rid themselves of the copper coins and help out a good cause at the same time.

“One of the reasons for the campaign’s success is that it’s so easy to participate,” said Melissa Fryer, managing editor. “Everyone has some spare change and that adds up to a lot.”

The campaign raises money for three charities that benefit children in Nanaimo – the Great Nanaimo Toy Drive, the Salvation Army and the Boys and Girls Club of Nanaimo. These organizations ensure no child is left empty-handed on Christmas morning.

Since its inception in 1996, the campaign has raised almost $154,000 in Nanaimo.

Schools and businesses are important partners as well as local residents, who bring in their loose change in recycled coffee tins, plastic bags and by the water cooler bottle.

Pennies for Presents kicks off today (Nov. 15) and will continue until Dec. 21. During that time, donations of all denominations – from pennies to $100 bills – can be made at the News Bulletin office at 777 Poplar St. or a community drop-off location.

Those community drop-off locations include: 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 and Quality Foods in University Village.

Pennies and other coins do not need to be rolled and changing bills into pennies at the bank is not necessary – it actually adds a lot more work for the volunteers at Berwick on the Lake, who roll the donations for deposit.

Check out the Nanaimo News Bulletin’s Facebook site, www.facebook.com/nanaimobulletin, to upload your photos, share your success stories and help others reach their fundraising goals.

For more information, please call campaign coordinator Jenn McGarrigle at 250-734-4626 or e-mail reporter@nanaimobulletin.com.

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