Phased-out tender sought after to help those in need
By Caitlin Van Den Brink, Contributor
With the penny no longer in production and scheduled to be collected and phased-out over the next few years, charities across Canada are holding penny drives to help people empty their houses of the little copper coins by sending them to a good cause.
If you’re like most people, you have them collecting in your pockets, hiding between seat cushions, and gathering dust in some jar at the back of your closet. Overall, the recently abolished one-cent coin is seen as useless and a waste of wallet space by Canadians.
Many charities, however, think otherwise.
Tim Horton’s is encouraging coffee lovers to help send disadvantaged children to summer camps. Until February 24, the company is asking that Canadians give their pennies to its Children’s Foundation by dropping the coins off at any Tim Horton’s location.
Canadian Tire is also holding penny drives at select stores for its Jumpstart Charity, which gives children a chance to enroll in sports and recreational activities when they might not otherwise have the chance.
Many local organizations are also hosting their own penny drives, including the Maple Ridge Hospital, the Sunshine Foundation, which supports children with disabilities, and the Tapestry Foundation for Health Care, which helps families of those suffering from dementia.
Free the Children, a charity based out of Toronto which supplies drinking water to children in developing countries, is hosting a penny drive which has so far raised more than $70 million—or enough money to supply more than 28,000 people with fresh drinking water. With the help of RBC, the charity has recently completed a week-long campaign where Canadians could drop off their pennies, wrapped or not, at any RBC branch.
“We’re encouraging Canadians to be creative with their pennies… hold office penny drives, dip into coin jars and piggy banks, look under the couch,” said Dave McKay group head of Personal and Commercial Banking at RBC.