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

Winter preparation underway for mid-Island highways

Drivers reminded to ready vehicles for changing conditions

V.I. Raiders win, wait to find out playoff foe

Raiders defeat Valley Huskers 13-6 in BCFC regular-season finale

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

City of Nanaimo staff recommend delaying Cranberry Connector project to 2027

Proposed road would link Cranberry Road with Tenth Street

Nanaimo firefighters train to save themselves

Fire Ground Survival Program teaches firefighters to stay alive when structure fires turn perilous

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Pot legalization has gone ‘well’, but ‘yellow flags’ on vaping: task force chair

Canada legalized cannabis for non-medical use on Oct. 17, 2018,

ELECTION 2019: Federal leaders hit final 24 hours of campaign

Many leaders remain in B.C. for the final hours of the campaign

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Most Read