Learning about pennies
St. Joseph’s makes donation to youth centre
St. Joseph’s Catholic Church found a home for buckets of pennies recently donated to the church and earmarked for a worthwhile cause.
“When the folks at St. Joseph’s contacted us to see if we would be interested, we jumped at the offer,” said Clifford Street Youth Centre volunteer Paul Ratchford. “Not only does it help us financially. But realistically, most of our kids are younger and so they’ve never really seen pennies.”
Fittingly named “Pennies From Heaven,” the youth centre volunteers and summer staff used the donation as an opportunity to help the youngsters learn the value of money, practise counting and learn how to roll change.
“The kids had an absolute blast counting and rolling the pennies,” Ratchford said. “They were helping each other get the job done, so it was also a team effort.”
The youth centre will use a portion of the money, estimated at $150, to purchase something for all the participants.
“It’s all about the kids, that’s why we are here,” Ratchford said. “We’ll also use some (of the money) to get the kids a treat whether it’s a pizza or McHappy meal — we’ll let them decide.”
Ratchford encourages any individuals or organizations that have pennies stored away to consider donating them to the youth centre.
“There are probably loads of pennies that are tucked away in drawers or in jars being used as doorstops. Don’t worry about rolling them, our kids will gladly look after that and we will certainly find a good use for them.”
The youth centre, located at 50 Clifford St., North Sydney, does not receive funding and with the exception of students employed using grant money, is run entirely by volunteers.
Since it opened its doors, the youth centre has catered to a mix of ages, from preschoolers to teens, many who return to the centre as volunteers.
“We are fortunate to be able to hire staff through various grants and truly do appreciate that kind of support,” Ratchford said. “We continue to open after school each day due to generous donations from the Rotary Club of North Sydney and the Northside Kiwanis Golden K Club, along with other individual donations.”
The youth centre is open after school Monday to Friday, and on weekends when there are special events.
The centre averages between 20 and 30 kids during the summer months and 30-plus during the winter.
From left, participants Maddy Nichol, Shannon Fuller, volunteer Katrina Eyking, staff Shannon Squarey, volunteer Dylan Parks and participants Angus Donovan, Mya Hogan and Caitlynn Fuller get busy rolling pennies donated to the Clifford Street Youth Centre by St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in North Sydney.