Charity and community service are important values that all parents should instill in their children. Here at Money Saving Parent, we are strong believers in private charity and we strive to make giving part of our monthly financial plan. We usually initiate the act of giving, but thanks to a school activity, our girls were introduced to a charitable cause that I hadn’t heard of before. It’s called Pasta for Pennies, a charitable activity for kids sponsored by Olive Garden Restaurant.
Change for a Change
Pasta for Pennies is a simple enough activity. Children are given a small donation box which they take home and use for donations. The students are asked to collect as much spare change or currency as possible over the next three weeks, then turn the box back in to the school. The money then goes to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, helping kids and adults with blood cancers and related diseases. Schools are rewarded for their efforts with small prizes, free pasta meals for the winning classroom, and other incentives.
Why it Matters
Pasta for Pennies is a very simple way to make a difference in the lives of those inflicted with blood cancer. It might not seem much different from any other type of charitable giving, but its simplicity makes it unique. There is so little to do that anyone can take part, understand what to do, and make a difference. It encourages a sense of teamwork among students who will want to work together in order to collect more money than any other classroom. It promotes character and makes children aware of the difficulties faced by those with debilitating and often fatal diseases. And it accomplishes all of this in a relatively simple, straightforward manner.
When I first saw my two girls with these small boxes in hand, it was obvious from the small slot on top of the box that it had something to do with money. My first assumption was that the school was trying to raise money for a specific classroom need. Upon closer examination, I was introduced to Pasta for Pennies, a charitable kid’s activity I didn’t know anything about. I immediately went online to learn more about this Pasta for Pennies concept, who sponsors it, and what it involves.
Encourage Your School to Get Involved
Pasta for Pennies is such a simple concept that any school can sign up and make a difference. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Olive Garden supply everything you need, from the collection boxes to lesson plans to prizes for the winning classrooms. Schools only have to follow the Pasta for Pennies guidelines, distribute the boxes, and encourage children to help others.
I like anything that encourages philanthropy and Pasta for Pennies is definitely a charitable concept deserving of support. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society raised more than $28 million during the 2013- 2014 school year through Pasta for Pennies and related programs. It funded important research and left a lasting impression on young students through its simple yet effective charitable plan. My girls loved taking part in the process and were very proud of the money they collected and donated to help those in need.
To learn more about Pasta for Pennies, visit www.schoolandyouth.org
Copyright 2015, Bryan Carey