Wondering what to do with those soon-to-be-obselete pennies?
If you're anything like me, there are a few jars of them laying around the house. My intention has always been to roll them up and cash them in.
But, of course, I never have. And now, time is running out. The federal government announcing the demise of the copper-coloured coin back in March, claiming removing it from circulation will save taxpayers millions annually.
Well kudos to Buy-Low Foods for finding a great way for "accidental collectors" like me to part with this coinage and feel good about it.
Between now and Dec. 31, the Brookswood and Walnut Grove stores are inviting customers to bring in their collection of pennies to donate to Variety - The Children's Charity.
"We have enjoyed a long and happy relationship with our friends at Variety," said Buy-Low director of merchandising Albert Lum.
"The penny won't be around for much longer, so now is the time to put them to good use. Every dollar that Variety raises goes to help B.C. kids who have special needs," he added.
These one-cent pieces - as the Royal Canadian Mint labels them - can be delivered to any Buy-Low store in jars, bags, piggy banks, or whatever container is handy.
The important point here is to get them there, and don't procrastinate - like I assuredly will.
Traditional matches receive 'Big' boost
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Hats off to the team at Envision Financial, again.
They always seem to be stepping up and helping local groups and organizations in need, the latest being the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Langley.
As a former Big Sister, I know first-hand all the benefits that come to both the Bigs and Littles who commit to being part of what the organization calls a "traditional match."
The one-on-one mentoring program, as they call it, allows the parties to form a relationship that can last a lifetime.
I'm thrilled to still be a part of my Little's life all these decades later. Even though our paths don't cross often enough for my liking, I'm thrilled to see how she's grown into such an exceptional caring and bright adult who's thriving as a wife, mother, and professional.
It's said that this program aims to help children increase their self esteem, develop character and respect, and make better lifestyle choices.
I was supposedly the role model in this case, but I'll have you know that I got as much out of that match as my Little did, maybe more.
Anyway, I digress, yet again. I'm just elated to see that this latest infusion of cash from Envision, to the tune of $10,000, will go a long way to ensuring the one-on-one mentoring program continues in this community.
"We are so thankful for the grant we received from the Envision Financial Community Endowment," said Mary Reeves, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Langley.
"We do not receive direct government funding, so without the support of organizations like Envision Financial, who has been supporting us through grants, sponsorships and volunteerism for over 20 years, we would not be able to do what we do to impact the younger generation."
Bigs have been active in Langley since 1974, and Envision has been supporting them for more than 20 years through grants, sponsorships and volunteerism.
Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Langley started off with the traditional matches, but has since evolved to include a variety of different programs that serve both boys and girls in the local community.
Serving as role models, the mentors teach the kids the importance of giving and giving back, of staying in school, and for having respect for family, peers and community. However, perhaps more importantly, the one-to-one mentoring program provides children who may be lacking positive role models in their lives with an opportunity to interact with a trusted adult outside of their social networks to develop constructive and trusting friendships, Reeves said.
"The entire Envision team is thrilled to provide this $10,000 grant to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Langley," said Dave Lanphear, vice-president of commercial banking and insurance at Envision Financial. He's also president of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Langley.
"For 38 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Langley has helped children and youth in our communities with opportunities to develop life-changing relationships with their mentors. Not only does this program give the kids a chance to build trust with adults outside of their schools or families, but they get to just have fun and hang out with a buddy whom they trust," Lanphear said.
This year, the First West Foundation is distributing $207,420 from the Envision Financial Community Endowment.
Of this amount, $151,360 is supporting charities and initiatives helping children, families, and youth at risk, while the remaining $56,060 is supporting organizational development projects that strengthen the social services sector to bolster the exceptional work done by non-profits in our communities.
Speaking of money, another charity close to my heart - namely food banks - has received a nice infusion in the form of cash and food.
Willowbrook Shopping Centre has been participating in Bentall Kennedy's Fare Fight For Food fundraising challenge, to raise funds, food, and awareness for local food banks.
Willowbrook is competing with other shopping centres across Canada. The centre that raises the most will earn its partnering food bank a $10,000 grant, as will the one that collects the most food, the highest single monetary donation, or the most support through an online contest.
So far, Wlllowbrook has collected $8,000 and more than 700 pounds of food. But still more is needed.
The challenge continues until Halloween, so there's still time for more locals to help. Non-perishable food, as well as cash, can be dropped off at Willowbrook, or go online to farefightforfood.ca.