I wanted to go to England. I wanted to walk Hadrian’s Wall with my friends. I wanted to do that to raise money for the new Camp Kesem chapter at the University of Maryland, which will be named in memory of our friend Oren Miller.
Can’t go. Can’t swing the cost. Can’t reschedule our annual family vacation, either, and that conflicts with the calendar laid forth for the Walking Dads.
But I — and my sons — still want to help. We want to do our part to meet the #Dads4Kesem fundraising goal of $40,000. (Ahem, that link there will let you contribute, too!)
I could just write a check or make an electronic donation. I’ll do that, too.
My sons wanted to help, though. They are too young just yet to own a checking account or credit cards.
They are not too young to do their part. How?
It came to me as I watched my older son and his friend hunt for loose nickels and dimes during a day last summer at our local theme park. They looked everywhere — and they found a couple of dollars’ worth. The open ground around roller coasters proved particularly profitable.
So, when it was time to talk to my sons about how they wanted to help Camp Kesem, the conversation turned to spare change. They know that Camp Kesem exists to help kids whose parents had or have cancer. They know that cancer is a terrible thing that must be stopped. They know that it’s scary when someone you love is battling cancer.
They know they want to help.
Now, when they hunt for coins on the ground, they’ll know they’re helping other kids whose lives have been touched by cancer.
Did you know there are between $2 billion and $2.5 billion in pennies in circulation?
Alone, a penny is an annoying bit of zinc and copper. In a great pile, pennies — along with their cousins, nickels, dimes and quarters — can help change the world.
What do you do with them? And what do you do with the rest of the loose change that seems to sprout up around the house — in couch cushions, at theme parks, spare change jars, piggy banks, everywhere?
We are going to collect ours and put it in a jar for the next four months. In July, when the Walking Dads are on their way to England without me, we’ll take our spare change to the local super market and dump it into a change machine. We’ll take the money we get from that and donate it to Camp Kesem.
We’ve decided to call our little family effort Spare Change 4 Change. The boys like the name, so even though the concept of using loose change to make donations isn’t new, we’ll keep it.
If you and your family would like to join us in this effort, we’d love the company. Let us know if you decide to embark on a personal Spare Change 4 Change campaign for Camp Kesem or another cause near and dear to your family, and we’ll share your kindness with the world.