Pennies won’t go to waste

Youngster on a roll with penny drive

Jenna Greene

UPDATE (April 23): Young Jenna Greene’s penny collection for pets has really taken off. When she reached her initial goal of raising $500 months before expected, she raised her goal to $2,000.

“She recently found a little bunny and took it to Wild Arc, so she’s now including them in her donation,” said Jenna’s mom Jane Rousseau.

Jenna has raised more than $1,100 so far, all of which will go to the SPCA and the BC SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre. Read on to see how you can help Jenna meet her goal.

 

Jenna Greene has invented a new use for dog poop bags – she’s collecting pennies in them.

“My kitten Gus died … I felt sad, but I wanted to help other animals,” said the 10-year-old Willows elementary school student. Gus, just nine months old, was a victim of feline infectious peritonitis, a usually fatal, incurable disease that affects cats. Gus helped fill the void left when her cat Max died at age five, also from disease.

In the year since Gus died, Jenna has been thinking of helping others, but a recent trip to the SPCA with a neighbour sparked her Unwanted Pennies for Unwanted Pets collection.

“I thought of helping cats and the other animals at the SPCA and they supported my ideas and told me to come in anytime,” she said. The SPCA provided her with literature and donation boxes.

Armed with a donation box, a handful of dog poop bags to collect pennies in and a poster she made with a picture of Gus on it, Jenna and her dad Joe went around her Carnarvon area neighbourhood for two hours a couple of weeks ago and collected $84.94 in just two hours for her pennies for pets project.

“I expected to get $30, so I was very surprised,” she said. “I want to continue fundraising until summer and my goal is to raise $500.”

For those who weren’t home, Jenna left a small disposable poop bag with a note attached explaining her penny drive. She then returned a week later to collect donations.

She figures with extra time during spring break and help from her classmates, she might be able to reach her goal. The bags she left on people’s doorsteps earned her another $100, making her total close to $200 so far.

“My teacher let me bring a donation box to class, so the kids can donate if they want to,” she said.

“Jenna is an extremely resourceful, creative young lady and very determined,” said her Grade 5 teacher David Masini. “Also, she is an animal lover so it doesn’t surprise me that she’d taken on this initiative. She had raised funds for the SPCA initially in cooperation with one or two other girls from the class.”

Jenna hopes to continue her fundraising to help more animals at the SPCA.

“Some of the animals are sick and people don’t want to spend the money so they can get better and I think it would help if they could get more resources to help the animals when they’re there,” she said. “I hope lots of people will donate.”

If you’re interested in helping Jenna raise money for the SPCA, you can drop donations off at her home at 2171 Allenby St.