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Pennies for Pennies is now Coins for Kids

With the demise of the penny, the News Leader Pictorial
With the demise of the penny, the News Leader Pictorial's Pennies For Presents program has been rebranded Coins For Kids.
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The Cowichan News Leader Pictorial is creating a challenge for the community.

That is collecting as much change as possible as part of Black Press’ annual Coins for Kids — formerly Pennies for Presents — fundraiser campaign.

The shift in name comes from a federal government decision to phase out the copper coin. The campaign is in its 17th year and has raised $700,000 across Vancouver Island for those less fortunate.

The Cowichan NLP has raised $133,000 since 1997, with the total last year alone coming in at $16,000 raised for various valley organizations including the Cowichan Food Basket, Cowichan Salvation Army, Women Against Violence Against Women, and the Harvest House, Mill Bay, and Lake Cowichan food banks.

But organizers, NLP office manager Kim Sayer and publisher Bill Macadam, have both noticed a decline in folks teaming together to collect on behalf of schools, corporations and local businesses.

“We’re really hoping to put a challenge out there to the people in this community,” said Sayer. “We used to have quite a few schools participating but I’ve slowly been noticing them drop off with their donations drives.”

Change can be dropped off at the Cowichan News Leader Pictorial’s headquarters or various locations around the valley.

And locals often lug containers of all sizes and kinds — from coffee cans to canning jars — loaded with change into the office.

While the campaign culminates at Christmas, it simply rolls into the next year.

That’s why Sayer and Macadam urge folks to continue dropping silver, cash and cheques at the office year-round, during business hours.

The News Leader Pictorial’s fourth-annual charity Big Book Sale Sept. 14 also raised more than $8,000, beating last year’s tally of $5,000.

The Big Book Sale is an additional event and format for raising funds for the Coins for Kids campaign.

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