Traverse City Record-Eagle

Community

March 25, 2013

Campaign to help others started with an annoying little penny

It started with an annoying penny Carrie Charron found on the floor of her car. It seemed she found them everywhere and that one penny in her car started Carrie thinking “what if.”

What if ... she had a hundred pennies lying around her house. That would be a $1 she could use for fast food or a beverage or at the dollar store. What if ... everyone had that many pennies lying around. What if ... everyone living in the Traverse City area put them together. That would be thousands of dollars in spare change — annoying little pennies — that could be helping people in the community.

Figuring it had to start somewhere, Carrie, who works at Skilled Manufacturing Aerospace, took jars in to work and created a sign labeled “Pennies for Poverty” asking her fellow employees to donate their spare pennies to help others.

“In just a four-month time period, 70 employees donated over $100 in pennies that we gave to Father Fred to help people in need,” Carrie wrote. “We continue to do so by placing a five-gallon bucket in the cafeteria. Employees fill it whenever they have pennies in their pockets.”

Carrie’s wish is that her idea becomes a nationwide effort for businesses and individuals.

“Truly there would be trillions of pennies that would be turned into millions of dollars a year to help the needy,” Carrie wrote. “I hope that anyone and everyone can see what one little penny given by many can do to help others.”

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The fourth annual “Food for Families” drive, sponsored by Father Karl Council of the Knights of Columbus at St. Patrick Catholic Church and St. Mary’s Catholic Church, was very successful and concluded as the Lenten season began.

Ric’s Food Market donated 300 grocery bags for the food drive, making it easier for people to remember to fill and return the bags. This helped the drive collect more than 200 bags of food, which weighed 2,833 pounds. The donations were given to the St. Patrick Pantry, which served 3, 782 in 2012, and the Kingsley United Methodist Pantry, which served 1,234 last year, and the need continues to increase.

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