When Canada announced it was discontinuing its penny, it gave one of our teachers an idea for a fundraiser, which will help fuel the work of one of next year’s service trips.
When the official announcement was made that the penny was no longer in production, it occurred to me that we could find a way to collect all those loose pennies that everyone has lying around their homes and put the money towards a good cause. When I brought the idea to my homeroom, they jumped at the idea and voted to continue supporting the Together Works Society in Nicaragua in their goal of providing clean water filtration systems in remote areas of Nicaragua. Slowly, the pennies began to fill the Tupperware bin at the back of my classroom, but before long, donations of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters were coming in on a daily basis from staff and students. After two weeks of fundraising, and countless hours rolling coins, we were happy to find that we had raised just over $320.00. As each water filtration system costs about $60, this money will help provide five systems.
Together Works Society in Nicaragua is an organization formed by Don Montgomery of BC. When he was living in Kamloops, he took a vacation to Nicaragua and fell in love with the communities around Jiquilillo, in the northwest region of the country. He built a beach lodge, called Monty’s Surf Camp and wanted to develop service-based tourism to foster collaboration on development initiatives in the area.
We held a Service Day in April to raise money to pay for the installation of water filtration systems in family wells in the area to eliminate the possibility of water-borne illness. Parasites are a big health issue for the local people. Although there is a lot of fresh water there, it is not safe to drink. The total from the service day was $728.95 and Allison Fenneman’s homeroom collected an additional $323.83 with their penny drive, bringing the total raised to $1052.78.
We are planning a Spring Break trip in 2013 to install some of the filtration systems, work with the local schools (there are three) to support them in whatever way they need and to support a community that lives off of a dump in the nearby city of Chinendaga. We are excited to offer this trip as a lower cost option for meaningful service work in a deserving community. The trip will be at a cost of approximately $2500.