Penny Project FAQs
1) Where do we send the money?
- Keep it local or, at least, within your region. Share reports on American Baptist Home Mission Societies’ Web site, including the number of coins collected as well as stories regarding the manner in which the experience is raising both awareness and the level of compassion among those involved.
- Let the youth lead. Let them choose the project or organization to receive funds. Encourage the youth to do the research, find the statistics and reflect on the statistics’ meaning. Encourage the youth to discuss with adults in their lives what the statistics mean to them.
2) What is the best way to collect funds?
- Ideal is any sturdy container, such as a water jug, cookie jar or plastic snack container.
3) What is a good location to collect coins?
- You are the best judge for location of containers. For some situations, an honor system will work. Other situations will require a more secure location.
- Consider setting dates periodically for everyone to bring coins together. Possible dates are Thanksgiving Sunday, Martin Luther King Jr. Sunday, the Sunday closest to President Lincoln’s birthday, a Maundy Thursday service, or an annual meeting. (Recommend that people count the amount they are bringing before they offer it.)
- Place at least one container in a conspicuous location to keep the vision before your congregation and community.
- Carry a container to every meeting and event.
4) How do we find statistics about children in poverty in our region?
- state and county departments of human services or similar entities and
- local organizations that address poverty-related issues.
5) How do we decide the best organization or project to receive our collected funds?
- Research. No one should need to “apply” for the funds you collect.
- Compassionately determine who is caring for the children in need and how the care is offered. Then assemble a group that includes at least three youth to discern the recipients of the funds. Examples of worthy recipients include pre- and after-school programs in challenged communities, residential homes for homeless and foster children, literacy programs, hunger-response programs, American Baptist Christian centers and clinics that provide care in challenged communities.
6) What is the best way to raise awareness?
- bulletin insert or e-newsletter with local and state statistics;
- bulletin insert about a local organization transforming the lives of children in poverty;
- Bible studies and sermons based on passages such as Deuteronomy 15, Nehemiah 5, Matthew 25, Luke 16:19-31 and Matthew 26:11; and
- letters to editors of local newspapers.