Coin contributions illustrate depth of caring within Haywood

Feb 26, 2014


One of the easiest fundraisers held in the county recently had to be the Million Coin Campaign: Cash Conquers Cold.

There was no event to organize, no admission costs, no campaigning by individuals, no athletic or fitness event to join or no food to prepare. All anyone had to do to participate was to collect a few coins or a lot of coins and drop them in a large box in the Waynesville police department lobby.

School children participated in their classroom, individuals doing business in the town’s municipal building dropped them in the box as they walked by, churches held campaigns and brought in coins by the bucket load and others brought in large containers of all sizes filled with coins they had been collecting for months, or even years. Those who worked in the building say they will miss the sound of loose change being dumped as each contribution is a sign of how much people care in this community.

Businesses had jars on their counters where customers could drop in a few coins, and in the case of Haywood Builder’s Supply, customers filled up several buckets that were brought in over the course of the campaign.

Volunteers along the way built the box, provided signs, offered security and did plenty to promote the campaign.

Probably the most cash collected at one time was by the Waynesville Fire Department, which held a boot drive that raised over $3,700. Much of that collection was in the form of $1 bills and those funds were removed a year ago when winter heating funds ran low and people were suffering.

Last week, the rest of the coins were cleared out when, once again, cold weather had depleted the resources needed by many to stay warm, and organizations that provide a helping hand realized that electricity disconnect notices will be appearing soon.

In the end, $17,300 was raised to help keep people warm during the winter. Some funds went to operate the emergency shelter, some of the money helped elderly with heating oil, and the cash helped buy plenty of infrared heaters and blankets that will come in handy for years to come to stave off the cold.

Every single dime contributed to the campaign went directly to the purpose for which it was raised — to keep people warm in the winter. Whether it was through Haywood Christian Ministry, Mountain Projects, Inc. or the Haywood Christian Emergency Shelter — the three entities that shared the funds — individuals who may have suffered during the cold winter weather were given a helping hand.

That so many would contribute to such a worthy effort speaks volumes for the depth of caring that abounds in this community.