Small donations earn big reward

Annual Pennies for Presents campaign collects coins to benefit Nanaimo charities

Kara Olson

Pennies for Presents is an enthusiastic recycler.

Using coffee cans, jam jars and peanut butter containers, people of all ages gather up loose change to donate to the annual fundraising drive.

Often containers are re-used from year to year, with faded stickers adhering to dented tins, which sit on shelves all year collecting change.

Money donated to the Pennies for Presents campaign helps three charities in Nanaimo – the Great Nanaimo Toy Drive, the Salvation Army and the Nanaimo Boys and Girls Club. Those charities provide toys for underprivileged children so that no one is left empty-handed on Christmas morning.

The annual campaign was started by Frank Legh, a Black Press advertising consultant, in 1996 and since then raised more than $148,000.

When choosing collection jars, make sure they’re small – pennies, in large numbers, weigh an awful lot – and easy to empty. People can take their containers with them after donating.

“We’ve had pennies donated in all sorts of containers,” said Mitch Wright, News Bulletin managing editor. “Water-cooler bottles are always popular, but when choosing a container, keep in mind how easy – or difficult – it will be to remove pennies later.”

Pennies for Presents kicks off today (Nov. 17) and will continue until Dec. 16. 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 one of our 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.

“Already readers have donated their pennies to the campaign,” Wright said.

Pennies and other coins do not need to be rolled. More than coins are accepted, so 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.

Please check out our Facebook page ( to upload your photos, share your success and help others reach their fundraising goals.

Just Posted

Man involved in beating and tasering over a drug debt to be sentenced in Nanaimo

Colin Damen Gary Lamontagne pleaded guilty to charges, including aggravated assault

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP to host series of community meetings

First meeting is scheduled for July 18 at the North Oyster Community Centre

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Appeal court decision on plastic bags misguided

Province should support municipalities’ efforts to take environmental action, says letter writer

Three vehicles collide behind Nanaimo’s Country Club Centre

No one hurt in accident Wednesday morning

Developers go back to drawing board after high-rise application deferred by Parksville council

IAG Developments has proposed a multi-building development on city’s waterfront

Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman sentenced to life in prison

Experts say he will likely wind up at the federal government’s Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado

Nanaimo mom says she will go to court to try to get allegedly abducted daughter back

Tasha Brown says her estranged wife abducted their daughter Kaydance Etchells in 2016

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

Chinook retention begins on North Island, but amid new size limit

DFO calls measures ‘difficult but necessary’ following rockslide on Fraser River

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Injured humpback returns to waters near Comox a year later

Photographer spotted Ocular near Comox again and noticed the whale has been healing

Most Read