Since 1994, millions of dollars have been raised in pennies and other spare change by more than 10 million elementary, middle and high school students throughout the country. The funds, collected during a three-week period, benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Everyone who participates is a winner!
Students across the country are collecting pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters during the Pennies for Patients campaigns benefiting the Society.
In the Pennies for Patients campaign, the class collecting the most change in each school receives a pizza party. Prizes such as computers, electronics and sports equipment are presented to the top schools in each area. The Pennies for Patients campaign began in the Society's North Carolina Chapter in 1995.
Sign Up Your School
You can sign up your school to participate in this campaign by filling out the online registration form.
NEW YORK - One hundred million pennies for your thoughts on the latest display in Rockefeller Center. New York first lady Silda Wall Spitzer joined hundreds of public school children on Monday to unveil a mass of $1 million in pennies collected for charity. The display, called the Penny Harvest Field, includes an estimated 100 million pennies — plus a few nickels, dimes and quarters that slipped in by mistake.
The exhibit, 30 feet by 165 feet, as long as a city block, is the culmination of the nonprofit organization Common Cents' 17th annual Penny Harvest, a national educational program designed to teach children about their value as contributors to society. Hundreds of thousands of city students from more than 800 schools spent the weeks between Oct. 22 and Thanksgiving going door to door and collecting the pennies, which will be donated to organizations of their choice for causes such as protecting the environment and helping the elderly.
The exhibit was designed by architect James Polshek and will be on display in Rockefeller Center, near the famous Christmas tree, through the end of the year.
Many corporations, national charities, schools, and local philanthropies have realized the worth of the penny. Through the use of point-of-sale collections, penny drives, and competitive penny fundraisers, these groups have turned thousands of idle pennies into real dollars for everything from college scholarships to cancer research and housing for the homeless. These fundraisers clearly demonstrate the true value of the penny.
Below are some examples of where the penny has helped charities:
- On the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society celebrated the 1.5 billionth ($150 million) penny collect by school students across the country for the "Pennies for Patients" program. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society certainly recognizes that every penny literally counts. Indeed, the $150 million collected in the Pennies for Patients programs proves that pennies do add up to significant sums. With every life saved from blood cancer, their annual penny drives debunk the nay-sayers proving the penny's value.
- The World Wildlife Fund relies heavily on microdonations. Over a six year period, over $500,000 was donated to the World Wildlife Fund through Coinstar® kiosks alone. "Every penny counts for an organization like ours and while individual donations through Coinstar® may be small, they add up in a big way," says Terry Macko, vice president and chief marketing officer at World Wildlife Fund.
- Common Cents New York helps organizations transform "idle pennies into useful dollars," and has helped raise over one half million dollars (50 million pennies) through penny harvesting.
- Habitat for Humanity receives a significant amount of funds from the Parade of Pennies, which is conducted by Church's Chicken. Within the first year of establishment, the Parade of Pennies has raised tens of thousands of dollars. Joe Fallon, from Habitat, reported that with these funds "another family has a house."
- The Salvation Army recognizes the importance of the penny as illustrated by former Salvation Army commander, Lt. Bryan DeMichael, when he said: "If we can collect all those pennies and get them together, we could really do something good with it." In addition to the crucial pennies that are donated to the Salvation Army around the winter holidays, the organization will occasionally run a Red Kettle Campaign in which large amounts -- sometimes over 5 million -- of pennies are collected from various communities.
- A counting study conducted by the 7-11 convenience store chain found that one-third of all the money collected in store collection receptacles can be attributed to the penny. In 7-11's situation, it amounted to $1 million of the $3 million donated in one year.
America's charities are the foundation of our nation's social safety net and help to ensure that people in need get the help they deserve. Can there be any doubt that penny drives and other innovative ideas are critical to all charities?
Links of interest:
Olive Garden kicks off 13th-annual Pasta For Pennies benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 9 /PRNewswire/ --
Two million elementary, middle and high school students in more than 2,700 schools across the country will soon begin collecting spare change for Olive Garden's Pasta For Pennies, a program benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's School & Youth campaign.
Since the campaign's inception 13 years ago, Olive Garden's Pasta For Pennies has raised more than $31 million, thanks to the efforts of students, parents, teachers and school administrators across the nation. During a three-week period between January and May, students bring spare change to their classrooms. The money raised through student contributions supports leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma research and patient services. The class in each school that raises the most money receives a pasta party delivered to their classroom and served by their local Olive Garden.
"Pasta For Pennies last year raised a record-breaking $4.2 million solely through student contributions," said Dwayne Howell, the Society's CEO and president. "Each penny contributed helps advance the Society's mission of finding cures for blood cancers and improving the quality of life for patients and their families."
In addition to serving a pasta party at each school, Olive Garden also hosts kick-off lunches in the restaurant for representatives of participating schools. To ensure a successful fundraising campaign, Olive Garden also provides marketing support and materials for more than 45 of the Society's chapters across the country.
"The students who participate in Pasta For Pennies are passionate about supporting families and classmates in communities across the country. They are learning at a young age how important and fulfilling community service can be," Olive Garden President Dave Pickens said. "We look forward to another year of extraordinary results for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and in the lives of the people they serve."
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, headquartered in White Plains, NY, is the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research and providing education and patient services. The Society's mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Since its founding in 1949, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has invested more than $483 million for research specifically targeting leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Last year alone, the Society made 4.2 million contacts with patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals through services provided at its home office and by its 66 chapters in the United States and Canada. For more information about the Society, visit http://www.LLS.org.
Olive Garden is the leading restaurant in the Italian dining segment with 595 restaurants, more than 70,000 employees and $2.6 billion in annual sales. Olive Garden is a division of Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI), the world's largest casual dining company in sales and market share. For more information, visit Olive Garden's Web site at http://www.olivegarden.com.