News

Have you been saving your pennies?

George Bonner Middle School students Emma Bosch, Quinn Evans, Shon Lumb, Nolan Craig, Tyler Le Blanc and Victor Unicume are just some of the Grade 6 students who’ve helped drive last year’s Pennies for Presents drive. - Ashley Degraaf/file
George Bonner Middle School students Emma Bosch, Quinn Evans, Shon Lumb, Nolan Craig, Tyler Le Blanc and Victor Unicume are just some of the Grade 6 students who’ve helped drive last year’s Pennies for Presents drive.
— image credit: Ashley Degraaf/file

Spare change?

You can put it to good use dropping it off with the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial for the annual Pennies for Presents fundraiser.

Last year the NLP raised $17, 300 for six local charities breaking the previous year’s record haul of $15, 800.

This year, the NLP is setting a cautious target of $10, 000 but hoping it can someone find the momentum to break another record.

NLP publisher, Bill Macadam understands that there are a lot of charities at this time of year competing for people’s loose change.

“It is certainly going to be a real challenge — everyone’s got their hand out more and more and it seems tougher and tougher. But our readers surprise and we have support from a number of elementary schools,” he said.

The NLP has already raised $4,000 toward its goal from its annual book sale, which happened earlier this fall.

All proceeds go to the Cowichan Valley Basket ociety, the Cobble Hill/Mill Bay/Shawnigan Lake Food Bank, the Chemainus Harvest House food bank, the Salvation Army, Women Against Violence Society, and the Cowichan Food Connection.

“This money is 100% local, there isn’t an administration fee or overhead. The money is 100% donated to charities. It’s on-the-ground money it’s not filtered through anything else,” Macadam. “As a media company we feel that this is in our ability to drive a few extra dollars towards people’s mouths.”

Even though the drive is called Pennies for Presents, loonies, toonies and paper money is more than welcome, and the bulk of the money goes to food banks.

With the money these charities are able to restock their shelves and put out more Christmas Hampers for needy families.

“The reality is the majority of our money goes to food banks. Every individual newspaper (in the Black Press chain) chooses its charity but the Pennies for Presents name has stuck. I guess food can be a present too.” Macadam said.

Rolling all those coins can be time-consuming so any donors able to roll their coins beforehand are like Santa.

Donations can be dropped off at the News Leader Pictorial’s office in Duncan at 5380 Trans Canada Highway, or in collection tins at a variety of local businesses. For more information call the office at 250-746-4471.

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