BICS students have adopted a simple idea with the potential of a big impact for our community. They call it "Pennies for Bowen" and it is their month-long project in support of their focus on "service" which is the school's virtue for June. The project is being led by the student council.
What better way to study service than to learn about philanthropy and give back to their community?
Pennies aren't worth much any more. It is even believed that soon pennies will no longer be part of Canadian currency. Pennies are left with the cashier or on the check-out counter. They're dropped on the street and not picked up. They're put in jars, cans, drawers, boxes and bags, never to be used. Most of us have pennies.
What if all of us on Bowen collected our pennies and gave them to the Bowen Island Community Foundation?
Imagine how many pennies there are on Bowen. Even though each penny is only worth one cent, all the pennies on Bowen could be worth a lot. By giving them to the Community Foundation, they would be put to work, and we would all benefit.
Our Community Foundation belongs to us all; its purpose is to support our community. By building a strong, caring community, the people within the community are supported in being strong and caring individuals who contribute to the world.
Often it takes money to help a community and its people achieve their goals. For example, not long ago some people wanted to build a place where we could re-use and re-cycle things that we were throwing away. It took money to build it, but now Knick Knack Nook is a community place we can all use. The Community Foundation helped by giving some money - to build the foundation and the floor.
When people give to the Community Foundation, their gift is never spent. Instead, it is invested and the income from that investment is spent. So one gift keeps on giving to the community, year after year. Putting all of our pennies together would truly have a lasting impact.
Community support for the project is already evident. The staff of First Credit Union have volunteered to roll all those pennies when they are collected.
It is clear from the enthusiasm for the project that Bowen children understand they live in a very special community and want to contribute to its strength. Practicing philanthropy is a wonderful way to learn about the joy of this part of caring. "Pennies for Bowen" is a simple way for this to happen, and they are hoping that the people of Bowen will support them in their project by contributing pennies!
How many pennies will they collect? We'll find out.
B. I. Community Foundation