Monday, March 19, 2012

Change in Your Pocket: Penny Day

Saving and counting up pennies is a tedious errand. This week, high schoolers at St. Mary`s in Bismarck were using that in their favor. The students were pooling their money to help someone else.

Today, the principal`s office at St. Mary`s high school is more of a bank. Buckets of loose change and thousands of pennies sit waiting to be counted.

"Some people would throw pennies away, but with this, you realize that the monetary value can go to something noteworthy," said junior Andrew Wolf.

Penny Day is a chance for students to dump off any of their unused pocket change to give to a worthy cause.

"I think what it does is allow our kids to understand the value of a dollar as well. A little bit of that has been lost these days," said Religious Studies Chair Reed Ruggles.

There is another incentive for students to give to Penny Day. The teacher can`t start class until he or she is done counting up all of the change the students pile on the desk.

"Always puts a smile on my face. Especially knowing they`re going to have to suffer through counting up all of that loose change I`ve been scrounging up all year," said Wolf.

Not all students are carrying around heavy sacks of coins. Many of them will simply pay in cash.

"What we`re trying to do is cultivate a spirit of generosity for the kids to give to something greater than themselves. I think they get into that, because they know that there are people in need," Ruggles said.

"You never know what other people are going through. What may seem like a little to you may be a lot to them," Wold said.

A chance to help someone else just by giving away whatever change is in your pocket.

The money is taken to the bank where it`s quickly counted. They`re giving the money to a staff member at St. Mary`s who is battling a brain tumor.