Titus Stewart may only be eight, but he dreams big.
Make that weighty dreams.
And now, with Christmas only one sleep away, this year Titus's challenge will help fill the coffers of our Pennies From Heaven campaign to help the Christmas Cheer Board and Winnipeg Harvest.
You see, earlier this year, right after our last Pennies campaign wrapped up, Titus decided to continue collecting pennies for our next drive.
And by collecting, that means looking for coins on the sidewalk, cajoling family and friends to donate and getting spare change.
"When I was in kindergarten I did it at the school, but then they stopped doing it so I decided to do it on my own," the Grade 3 student at St. Charles Catholic School said.
As his mother, Tamara, says: "Every time he finds money on the ground we have to turn it into pennies."
But then Titus made himself a personal challenge: He wanted to collect his weight in coins.
And this week, Titus pulled out the milk jugs filled with coins and got out the weight scale.
The final tally: Titus, 54.2 pounds. Coins, 93.8 pounds.
That's the equivalent of almost two Tituses he was able to raise.
And Titus knows where the money he has collected will go to.
"It helps the poor," he said. "I'm glad to help."
Titus and his family plan to bring their coins to one of our drop-off spots this weekend.
Which actually brings up an important point.
Our Pennies campaign, while winding down, is not quite over.
This is a crucial time: We still need to raise money to ensure the Cheer Board can pay their bills and Winnipeg Harvest can leverage the donations to get lots of food into their hampers in the days ahead.
So, in the next few days even while Christmas Day itself is in the rear-view mirror, please continue to bring your coins in to our drop-off boxes throughout the city or send cheques in the mail.
The bins at the Walmart stores and the RBC branches will disappear like Santa Claus at the end of this week, but for procrastinators, there will still be a bin at the Free Press building itself.
Thanks very much for thinking of the hungry.
Thanks to these generous donors:
Share Our Strength
Walter and Eugenia Sahan
'The Manitoba Senate'
G. & Mary Smith
In memory of our daughter Teri Wingrove
In memory of Fred, Jean, Bill and Joan
Merrill and Linda Wozniak
Catherine and Sidney Garvie
In memory of Zena Wolfson
Victoria Senior Men's Curling League
Terry and Michael Bellhouse
Barb and Joe Melo
Manitoba Hydro Credit & Recovery Services Department
Liberty Lodge #242
In loving memory of Bob and Marina Light
Employment Manitoba/Service Canada
Jacqueline and Dale Verville
In memory of Kenny Ingram
Gerald and Irene Mikolash
Voute Holdings Inc.
Charles and Hilda Curtis
Where to take donations for Pennies from Heaven?
There are large collection bins inside each of the city's Walmart stores. Look for the bin with the photo of myself and Doc Walker near the front entrance (hint: I'm the one with the wings.)
All RBC branches in the city have our collection bins.
Our giant penny can once again be found on the second floor of Portage Place across from Customer Service.
The Free Press News Café at 237 McDermot Ave., is a new drop-off spot this year. You can even grab a coffee or sandwich while you're there.
The Free Press at 1355 Mountain Ave.
Cheques can be sent to Pennies from Heaven, c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Tax receipts will be issued.