In the spring semester of 2012, the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering Club (ATMAE) of Millersville University began their organization’s community service/outreach program by helping to raise pennies for the “One Million Penny Campaign.”
The purpose of this project is to gather one million pennies ($10,000) in order to pay for student field trips at Burrowes Elementary School in Lancaster.
Dr. John Wright, the advisor of the ATMAE Club and professor of Automation & Electronics Technologies, got his students involved with the campaign after his wife, Andrea Wright, asked him for his help. Andrea, the treasurer of the organization, initiated this campaign, which raised 70,969 pennies last semester.
“During the summer they don’t have much activity because school is out, so the kids aren’t collecting. And of course our students are not here, so at this time we’re about ready to start up again,” said Wright.
When asked why the organization decided to collect pennies Wright replied, “It’s one of those denominations of money that’s pretty disposable. Most people put them in a jar, and they don’t want to carry it around with them.”
A science teacher from Andrea’s high school had done a similar campaign. Research was done in order to figure out how much weight they would be dealing with. They also saw the success stories of other schools, who had similar fundraisers.
“We thought this might be something that the kids could easily participate in and bring in pennies. Quarters might be a little more expensive for the parents. We will accept quarters, and nickels and dimes as well, or dollar bills. We’ll take them all and we’ll convert them to pennies.”
The Lowes located in East Lancaster offered a toolbox, which is being used to store the pennies, after the ATMAE Club wrote a letter requesting a donation. Once they reach their goal of one million pennies, Wright and his students are planning to take the large blue heavy-duty toolbox from the lobby of Burrowes Elementary to a ceremony that will be held at the local PNC bank. During this ceremony the pennies will be deposited into the Burrowes Elementary PTO Account at PNC Bank.
“In order to do that we’re going to have an industrial strength forklift because this thing weighs tons. Or we’ll be doing it the bucket way and pass them down one big line. But we’ll take the pennies there one way or another,” stated Wright.
Diane Duell, director of Special Projects at Millersville University, made her own contributions to the campaign after reading the Exchange article, “One Million Penny Campaign”, which was posted on Sept. 20.
“I thought it sounded like such a wonderful project! I happened to have a small Ziplock bag with pennies in a drawer at home that was actually in the way, so I sent it to Dr. Wright,” stated Duell.
There is no deadline planned for the “One Million Penny Campaign,” but they hope to finish raising the money this year by doubling the amount of pennies that they have collected last year.
Donations can be sent to room 110 in Osburn Hall or to Osburn Hall’s main office.