Our journey begins…

1,300+ pennies

Thus starts our journey. As a parent watching the devastation that is unfolding in Japan, I can’t help but feel lucky and blessed that my child is safe and sound. My daughter is about to turn seven. She was born after 9/11, only a year old when Katrina hit New Orleans, and even last year I thought her too young to really allow her to grasp the concept of the earthquake in Haiti.

But next month she will be seven, and I will not be able to shield her much longer from the realities of life. My thoughts turned to how I can frame this for her, what lessons I can bring to the table. My daughter is a Girl Scout, a second year Daisy soon to bridge to Brownie. A big part of Girl Scouts is community service, along with the parts of the Girl Scout Law – “Considerate and Caring”, “Friendly and Helpful”, and “Be a Sister to Every Girl Scout”.

I talked to Elisabeth, showed her the videos of the damage in Japan, explained that so many were without homes and their toys. She asked if they didn’t have homes, where do they go to the bathroom? After a giggle escaped my lips at the absurdity of the question, I sobered and honestly told her, honey – that’s the point.

I put the bag of pennies I brought home in front of her (I had a coffee cup-ful sitting at work). I asked if she would like to try to collect pennies to raise money to send to the Girl Scouts in Japan so they can help their communities. I could have easily picked Red Cross or another organization, but I wanted her to see that she was helping other girls like herself.

She agreed she would like to help, and even offered up her own precious hoard of pennies she’s had since she was 3-years old – the collection being 3 times the size of my own coffee cup collection.

So we spent the evening before bedtime counting and piling pennies by tens – one thousand, three hundred and twenty-three to be exact.

Since every undertaking should have a time limit and goal, we decided to see if we can collect 1 million pennies by her birthday in April, giving us a month and a half. A million pennies is a lot, I admit, $10,000 total – but the number seems fun, and will keep us trying to come up with new ideas to find the pennies.

I’ve created this blog to record our experiment, share with others, and to bring awareness to our cause. I hope you follow us and even give my daughter some encouragement along the way, I know she would love to read any positive messages left for her. Off and on I will have her post her own thoughts – to be coded in a different color.

Here is a link to a message from the Girl Scouts of Japan and their request for monentary donations at this point in time. WAGGS is the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, of which both Japan and the US are a part of.

  1. #1 by Wendi on March 16, 2011 - 4:32 am

    Great idea! I pray you’ll be successful.

  2. #2 by Pam Farley on March 16, 2011 - 3:02 pm

    I LOVE this idea. I think I’ll ask my Brownies if they’d like to start a similar campaign here! Good luck…

  3. #3 by Starr on March 16, 2011 - 3:15 pm

    Elizabeth you have a big <3!

  4. #5 by Joanne Kennedy on March 16, 2011 - 8:21 pm

    This is a great idea. I’m going to ask my girls if they would be interested in doing the same thing.

    Good luck! Hope you reach your goal and then some 🙂

  5. #7 by Grandma Bobbi on March 16, 2011 - 10:26 pm

    There are lots of pennies for you at my house. I always wondered why I kept saving them.
    Now I know!

  6. #8 by Paloma on March 16, 2011 - 11:53 pm

    Hi elizabeth, it’s paloma from girl scouts. This is such a great thing you are doing. My grandma’s family lives in japan. They’re all ok. Do u want any quarters or dimes?

    • #9 by geekraisinggeek on March 17, 2011 - 2:55 am

      That’s good to hear your family is safe, Paloma! Yes, we will accept any and all change as well!

  7. #10 by Uncle Rick and Aunt Tessie on March 17, 2011 - 1:05 am

    We are so proud of you – that is great! The people in Japan really need our help. We will get our pennys ready for you!

  8. #11 by Jennifer on March 17, 2011 - 1:54 am

    WONDERFUL idea! LOVE IT!!! we have tons of pennies around here, so I’ll bring ’em over when I can.

  9. #12 by Kati on March 17, 2011 - 2:46 am

    This is such a wonderful thing to do! Cailyn is going to find as many pennies as she can to help you get to your goal! Good luck! Aunt Kati 🙂

  10. #13 by Collen Epple Pine on March 18, 2011 - 9:36 am

    Elisabeth and family: Senior Girl Scout Troop #60040 of SU#70 in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, USA, could not be more proud of you! This is a prime example of how a little bit can go a long way. Your act of kindness and generosity has inspired so many others to work hard to help our dear friends and sisters in Japan. We wish you the very best and are cheering you on! Yours in Girl Scouting, Colleen Pine, Leader, Senior Troop #60040/Ambassador Troop #2000

    • #14 by geekraisinggeek on March 25, 2011 - 2:58 pm

      Elisabeth was excited to her that Seniors and Ambassadors were proud of her! She can’t wait to be one!

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