MRU students collect over 6,000 pennies
Resident advisers take on Free The Children campaign
Mount Royal University students contributed more than twice as many pennies as expected to a project aimed at developing water resources for people abroad.
The Canadian penny went out of circulation on Feb. 4 and the Mount Royal University residence advisers, who organized We Create Change in December and the early months of this year, collected far more pennies then they had hoped.
The goal the RAs set out to achieve was to raise 2,500 pennies from the students living on campus. That amount will supply a single person with sustainable drinking water for life.
However, the residents of MRU have collectively raised 6,000 pennies to be sent to third world countries to provide citizens with clean drinking water.
“I knew that people were interested in helping out so I extend- ed the original date,” said Kristi McKellar, a residence adviser at MRU. “I never imagined we’d collect that many pennies.”
The last Canadian penny was made in May of 2012. Free The Children, an international charity organization, started the event We Create Change to soak up some of the surplus in a useful way, by providing 100,000 people with clean drinking water.
McKellar said she took on this project because she has a passion for the citizens in third world countries.
“Women and children spend 8 to 10 hours a day walking to collect water and that’s just way too much time,” McKellar said. “They have to stop going to school and doing other things, they can’t really have a job if their main concern in life is walking to find clean water.”
The Royal Bank of Canada collected the pennies on Feb. 6 and 7 in containers from people participating in the event.
McKellar saw an RBC commercial on T.V. for the project and said, “I figured, what a better way to donate those things that you generally just throw away from your wallet anyways.”
McKeller said that she believes women are capable of much given the opportunity. “I’m so glad I can be a part of program that can help them towards an education,” she said.