A few pennies lying around the house might not be able to buy a lot — but many together will help build a home for a family in need.
Habitat for Humanity Red Deer has started an initiative to collect 10 million pennies to go towards building a home for a low-income family in Red Deer. Executive director for the organization, Cynthia de Boer, said 10 million pennies equates to $100,000, which is the cost of materials required to build a home.
“With the federal government announcement that the penny will no longer be in production as of this fall, we are calling on all Red Deerians to donate pennies that have collected in the drawers, change trays and pockets so more low-income families can receive the hand up of a home they can afford,” said de Boer.
Collections will take place at the group’s office and ReStore, located at 4732 78A Street Close.
The total amount will fill quite a bit of space but there is little worry from Habitat staff.
“There is definitely a need for a home right now,” said de Boer. Five local families are waiting for homes.
“Facilitating a fundraiser like this will be a ton of work, actually 25 tons, but if it meant another low-income family will access affordable home ownership, it will be more than worth it.”
de Boer said Habitat also plans to renovate homes for needy families, for $25,000 to $45,000 where building a home from scratch can cost $85,000 or more.
There is also a need for volunteers.
“There is no previous home building skills required as we have a trained professional onsite to teach people on some of the duties required,” said de Boer.
The ReStore is also accepting new and gently used building and renovation supplies. de Boer said it is a great way to fundraise for the organization as items sold through the ReStore go to administration costs, allowing 100 per cent of donations through projects like 10 Million Pennies to directly fund building homes.
“We are not asking people to bring in truckloads of pennies,” said de Boer. “We are just looking for a few pennies at a time. We know everything will stack up and eventually build a home.”
More information is available by contacting Habitat for Humanity Red Deer at 403-309-0998 or at their website at www.habitatreddeer.ca.