It all began with a small goal. Could the children of Mission Alliance Church collect enough pennies to earn fifty dollars to buy a goat for a poor village in Africa? It seemed like a great idea with the penny now going out of circulation, and it was hoped that people would give generously so that the kids could earn enough for a goat.
To make the challenge more interesting, the boys competed against the girls to see who could raise the most pennies. A collection was taken each Sunday morning, as well as on Tuesday nights at Club 57 (the kids club for grades 5 – 7). The penny buckets were hauled out, and the boys and girls rushed with their bags, jars and piggy banks to deposit the pennies they had collected.
There was great excitement when the children came forward to put their pennies in their five-gallon buckets. For the first couple of weeks, the girls were winning, but soon the boys’ bucket was piled higher with pennies than the girls’.
Midway through the period of collection, it became obvious that there would be enough pennies to buy more than one goat. The buckets were getting so full that it was difficult for an adult to move them! The community of Mission was extremely generous when the children came to their doors. Jordan and Madison thought it was fun to go door to door asking for pennies, and were able to collect a lot for the girls’ bucket. Quentin and his brother Riley set out in their neighbourhood in a quest for pennies. “We went to our neighbours and they gave us three goats worth of money. We were amazed by the amount.”More for the “boys” bucket!
On the final day of the collection, the very heavy buckets of pennies were weighed. Everyone held their breath as both buckets were full nearly to the top. The scale revealed that the girls had 74 kg of pennies and the boys had 78 kg. Cheering exploded as the boys claimed victory. They were thrilled to be treated to ice cream sundaes. The girls also received ice cream sundaes, though they had to pay 25 cents for theirs.
The Christian and Missionary Alliance has a program where goats are purchased for village women in Niger, West Africa, one of the poorest countries in the world. These women care for their small herds, their children drink the milk and the women sell the rest, enabling them to better care for their families. We are excited to report that the penny collecting project raised $718.96, and that not one, but fourteen goats were donated to a poor village in Niger. A big thank you to the kids for their hard work and to the many people who gave away their pennies when children came to the door.
(Written by Mission Alliance Club 57 Leader, Kathy Reimer & edited by International Worker, Lisa Rohrick)