There are billions of dollars in pennies out there, so I think that there’s a ton of potential for Common Cents to keep growing. Maybe you can be a part of it.

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How worthless is a penny? The only reason people pick them up off the ground is for good luck. Stores have dishes in which they give pennies away. And there’s a group of people who fervently advocate retiring the penny. In fact, the value of the metal in pennies produced prior to 1982 (that’s the year they switched from copper to zinc) is higher than the currency value of the pennies themselves. We’ve pretty much established that pennies are worthless; however, there’s a New York City based service learning non-profit that has a very different take on the penny. They’re called Common Cents, and they are the creators of The Penny Harvest. Since 1991 they’ve worked with children aged 4-14 to make $6.8 million in grants to community organizations. How have they mobilized kids to do this? By collecting pennies! That’s right. They’ve collected $6.8 million in pennies.

Are You a Penny Pincher?

It’s a pretty simple idea to collect pennies and turn them into something big. You’ve probably done the same thing yourself. You either tirelessly rolled your coins and then deposited them in the bank, or you took the easy way out and went to Coinstar. I’ve done it, and I have to say it’s pretty cool to turn a whole bunch of change in to a $134.76 Amazon gift card (that way you don’t have to pay a Coinstar fee). Now, just imagine how cool it is to work with kids to collect pennies and then make a grant to a charitable organization. This is how the whole process works. Since there are billions of dollars in pennies out there, I think that there’s a ton of potential for Common Cents to keep growing. Although their Jobs page says that they aren’t hiring right now, you should take a look at their Staff page to see where you might be able to fit in in the future. If you don’t yet grasp how cool it would be to work at Common Cents, just take a look at this to be blown away. And don’t worry about getting paid in the pennies, they’ve already found a better use for them.

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What do you do with all of your pennies?

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