Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A penny for my thoughts...

Every Little Bit Helps 

I am a coin collector, and in my younger days, did so very actively.  I had the good fortune, as a very young boy, of working in my father's store when silver coins were still the norm until "clad" or copper filled coins arrived on the scene in 1965.  In any event, over the years, I had collected some $220 in pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, half dollars and even several real silver dollars.  When I was finally able to buy a home at the age of 32, I sold this collection of mostly worn pocket change for around $800 to help with down payment.  I still check my change all the time and still have a foreign coin collection.  To me every coin has a story and each serves an important purpose. 

I save pennies for a specific purpose these days, and when my old football, or basketball, or life in general injuries don't discourage me from doing so, I will bend over and pick up a penny from the ground.  I have that much respect for their value. 

The church I am affiliated with has an association with a church in Tanzania and its connected school.  We have raised money for such things as building supplies, water well drilling, electrical hook-ups, sending student teachers on internships, text books and most commonly continued school supplies.  A simple, but valuable thing like a pencil or a writing pad can be purchased for a U.S. single penny.   

This morning, feeling better than I did yesterday, I bent down to pick up a penny I had seen in the lobby several times yesterday.  I thought to myself, either this penny has a story or it will.  It turned out to be a rather nondescript 1989 penny with quite a bit of wear, but it's still a thing of value and beauty.  It went into my pocket.

Tonight it will go into a jar under my night stand.  Next Sunday it will be going into a large barrel at the church, marked "Pennies for Tanzania".  The following week it will go to a local bank to be converted with all the other pennies into dollars.  In its new from, it will then be deposited into an account and a check will be cut and sent to the church in Tanzania.  That check will be cashed and the money will use to run the school.  And pretty soon that penny will be used to buy a pencil to be used by a child who will write, and learn, and hopefully grow up to help make his community a better place.  All because of a that single penny. 

We should never take such things as a lost or discarded pennies for granted because every little bit helps! 

L. S. 

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