We are in the middle of our WCS coin collection which benefits Christian orphanages in Honduras and Haiti. Our students take bank bottles specifically made for the project by one of our former parents and bring them back with loose change inside as well as the occasional bill. My students do all the counting of the change. It's a big deal- we average about $10,000 per year and that's a considerable amount of counting. The kids look forward to it and I think it's good for them to get their hands dirty. Money in coin form stinks, especially some that has been encased in piggy banks for years. (I keep the room soaked with Febreze!) When we are finished, the bank sends an armored car to pick it up so it's a pretty sweet arrangement. We used to have to carry it to the bank ourselves and the tellers were none-too-pleased when we entered with bags containing thousands of dollars of money that goes clink when you drop it! Progress for us came in the name of Wells Fargo and plastic deposit bags!
But, before we count it, all this change has to be sorted. The separating into pennies/nickels/dimes/quarters is the fun part of the process. The kids can talk and enjoy themselves while filling up five gallon jugs with the proper coinage. I talk to them about the importance of their task. Putting a dime in with the pennies is a 1000% mistake which hurts the kids we are trying to help. Our kids do a good job, down to scrubbing their hands with soap and liberally partaking of the hand sanitizer. It's a nice break from notes and they feel they are making a difference twice; first, with the change they bring and secondly, with the service of preparing the money for the bank. One of my former students brought by a big freezer bag full of change this morning and another dropped in to ask me when she can make her coin contribution. I love good works that perpetuate themselves!
Jesus talked about this kind of sorting process in His parables. In one, He talked about the fish caught in a seine net being divided into piles of good and bad. In another parable, the story centered on weeds and wheat co-existing in the same field until harvest. In the Parable of The Sheep and Goats, those two farm animals have different fates based on their treatment of the downtrodden. You never know what's going to turn up in our change; foreign currencies, car wash and Chucky Cheese tokens, buttons; last week, a drill bit was in the mix. Several years ago, we even had several unused 22 shells! None of those have any value to us although the kids love to look at the coins from other nations. The things that we can't use are disposed of. But the pennies/nickels/dimes/quarters/dollar coins are spent to protect the unprotected and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Some of the coins are nicked and dirty but they still are of great worth, especially in the right hands with the pure hearts. And you can see some of those hands and hearts at the top of this page.
Applicable quote of the day:
It is not helpful to help a friend by putting coins in his pockets when he has got holes in his pockets.
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