The power of the penny

If we got rid of pennies, what would we put on our bedroom bureaus to replace the old milk bottle full of pennies?

These are the many questions that are surfacing as this video, posted this week, zips around the Internet. Another: How will we raise sales taxes — as we have for the arts, outdoors, gasoline, and maybe the Vikings — if we can’t raise them by an amount that provides a round-up to the nickel? That would raise all sales taxes to at least a dime.

Here’s another question: What would happen to fundraising ideas like the one? In Peterborough, Ontario, a kid started raising money for a Christmas charity. Noah Leslie only asked for pennies “because it’s the least you can ask for.” Today, he announced he’s raised $1,229.36 in pennies, which a bank is matching.

The same thing happened, more or less, over in New Richmond. Kids in a middle school last month held a “penny war,” raising about $700 for a food pantry:

The rules were: Each homeroom competed against other homerooms in the same grade. All silver and bills counted as negative toward their totals and pennies were counted as positive. The team with the highest positive amount (or closest to zero if they were all negative) was the winning homeroom, explained NRMS physical education teacher and Student Council co-advisor Karen Stellrecht.

The teacher said she wanted to teach the young people that every penny counts.