Children attending the J.A. Cuddy Child Care Centre in Sanford are learning about charitable giving at a young age.
Centre director Kim Chornopyski said the children and their parents are donating their pennies to fill up a large glass jar. After the jar is filled, and the pennies are rolled and cashed in, the money will be donated to Winnipeg’s Siloam Mission to help feed and shelter the city’s homeless population.
"It’s a very simple idea," Chornopyski said. "Things get boring in the winter so we put up a sign and got the jar to collect pennies."
She added that the younger children like to drop pennies into the jar, while the older ones are able to understand why the pennies are being collected for charity.
Seventy-seven children attend the centre, 30 of whom are students at the adjoining J.A. Cuddy School and receive before- and after-school care.
The Centre is one of a number of local charities that are asking people to donate their pennies following the federal government’s decision to take the penny out of circulation. The Royal Canadian Mint stopped distributing pennies on Feb. 4. While they are still legal tender, some businesses aren’t accepting pennies in cash transactions and have started rounding up or down to the closest five-cent value.
Chornopyski said the pennies are gradually coming in.
"I think that parents are bringing them in as they find them, but the kids are reminding them about it."
She said that anyone can stop in and donate their pennies to this worthwhile cause.