Written by: John DeRousie, Custom Marketing Solutions
FULTON, NY – What began as one girl’s quest to help feed families in need in Oswego County is starting to gain momentum and inspiring others. Earlier this month Christie Hoefer, a senior at Oswego High School launched her Pennies 4 Pantries drive to collect one million pennies in support of Catholic Charities of Oswego County’s food pantry.
When Christie, who volunteers at the food pantry, realized that her mom, Helen Hoefer, director of Emergency Services at Catholic Charities, could purchase a pound of food for the pantry from the Food Bank of Central for 14 cents she knew what she could do to help. “I was surprised to see the number of families who depend on the food pantry. When my mom said that it is becoming difficult to keep the shelves full at the pantry I thought if 14 pennies can buy a pound of food, imagine how much food the pantry could get for a million pennies,” said Christie.
Christie started her Pennies 4 Pantries drive by collecting pennies from family members and friends. She has since begun reaching out to community members and organizations throughout Oswego County. Her efforts have not gone unnoticed. “When my children heard about Christie’s penny drive they thought it would be fun to start collecting pennies to help Christie reach her goal,” said Mary-Margaret Pezzella-Pekow. “She soon enlisted her friends and began collecting pennies from their friends, family members, and neighbors. They even donated money from the items they sold at a yard sale.”
When Christie received the donation from the other children she was thrilled. “It made me feel good that they care enough about my penny drive to donate their own time and money. I know it won’t be easy, but if we can all come together and donate only a few pennies whenever we can, I know we can do it. Pennies 4 Pantries is more than just my campaign to collect one million pennies. It is an opportunity for individuals, businesses, and organizations to come together as a community to help feed families in need,” she said.
Christie, who is looking to reach her goal by July of 2012, said that whatever amount she has collected through November will be distributed to Catholic Charities’ food pantry to help them provide holiday meals to families in need.
In addition to placing donations in the Pennies 4 Pantries collection cans, those interested in donating pennies may contact Christie Hoefer at 315-342-4373; requests for pickups will also be accommodated. While the goal in one million pennies, Christine added that donations of any size would gladly be accepted.