Some people call it a piggy bank. Others, a "swear jar". Whatever the name, you need somewhere to put the nickels, pennies, dimes, and quarters you accumulate with every purchase. When you dedicate that change to the Challenge Walk, it can really add up!To help reach your fundraising goal, consider putting such a jar somewhere that you'll see it every day, such as the entrance to your house, the kitchen table, or your desk at work. You can use a mason jar, a drinking glass, or a plastic container. Every time you see it, reach into your pocket and toss in any coins you find. You'll be pleasantly surprised to find how quickly the jar fills! A 16 oz. jar can hold about $30, and a full gallon of coins is likely to be well over $200.
If the jar is your own, whatever amount you reach is your own money. You can maximize this fundraising opportunity by putting the jar somewhere where many people can contribute to it. If you live with your family, ask them to pitch in with their coins; if you have a workplace environment, ask your human resources representative for permission to put the jar in your break room; and if you work in retail or food services, inquire about the possibility of placing it where customers and clients can participate.
Once your jar is full, you'll want to convert its contents to something more manageable. Many supermarkets have CoinStar machines that will turn your coins into bills, but these machines take a fee that is better put toward the NMSS. Instead, try visiting your local bank, which may have a similar machine (such as TD Bank's Penny Arcade). Then you can pocket the cash and write a check to the NMSS for an equivalent amount.
So let's get together and nickel-and-dime MS to death!
Ken, an Arlington resident, joined the MS Challenge Walk in 2005, more than a decade after his mother was diagnosed. After walking for three years and 150 miles, he switched to the support crew and now rides his bicycle along the trail, providing whatever encouragement (and snacks!) he can to the 600 walkers. He is also an alumnus of the event's steering committee and is this site's webmaster.