Hands up who has at least one jar or tin hanging around the house filled with coppers that you vow will make it into those little bags and into the bank to be put towards something useful? Hands up how many of you have been saying that for the last few years and have yet to actually act on it? Yeah, me too. As of this month you won’t even be able to use them to buy anything in shops as they’re headed out of circulation – meaning they’re slowly but surely becoming useless. Yes, it is the end of the 1c and 2c coins meaning my purse is likely to become less of a mess, and many poor retail workers are going to be dealing with people who just aren’t happy with not getting their correct change… not a world I miss.
However, a fantastic initiative to put these coins to good use is available. Change For Charity is running a designated week to encourage everyone to donate those tins and jars of coins taking up space in their houses to a number of incredible Irish charities. The Charities span a few different causes – The Irish Heart Foundation, Gaisce (The Presidents Award), Irish Autism Action, St. Francis Hospice Raheney/Blanchardstown and Our Ladies Hospice and Care Service Harolds Cross and Blackrock – which means that in all likelihood, there will be one close to the hearts of most Irish people. The week runs from 2nd-8th of November, directly after the coins come out of circulation on the 28th of October.
For me, the cause closest to my heart is the Irish Heart Foundation, as six years ago I lost a close friend to a heart problem. Rather poignantly, the week actually falls on the sixth anniversary of her death, which I can choose to see of as much of a sign as anything else that she’s still pulling strings wherever she is. It’s a fantastic charity that does some incredible work to reduce the impact of heart disease and stroke through education, training and research into finding medical improvements for those suffering from heart disease and stroke. Heart disease is Ireland’s No 1 killer – above all of the cancers, road accidents and other causes – and unfortunately with the rise of obesity it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Stroke is up there too, killing more people than breast cancer, bowel cancer and prostate cancer combined at more than 2000 people a year while leaving thousands more with varying levels of disability and in need of care. There aren’t many families who haven’t been touched in some way by these illnesses – the same can be said of the rest of the charities involved.
Any money donated will be split six ways – the five main charities I named above, and a sixth stream going towards smaller charities, youth and community groups who have less resources to be involved on a bigger scale. According to recent figures, it’s thought that 35 million is sitting in jars and bags around the country, unloved and in need of a better purpose – this may well be it, imagine what good that money could do!
If you’d like to get involved, you can bring your donations to a number of retailers and banks, including AIB, Bank of Ireland, O Briens, Tiger, Supervalu and many more. You can find the full list here.
It may be only small change to you, and a hassle to count or sort out, but it will make a real tangible difference to people countrywide. Not only will you have konmari-ed the ugly jars of coppers out of your house, but you’ll have gained some good karma to boot. Not a bad way to be!
For further information about Change for Charity, make sure to check out their website here. I haven’t been asked to write about this, and it certainly isn’t a sponsored post, I merely heard about it on the radio and thought it was a fantastic idea – I’m gathering up my spare coppers as we speak.