By Paula M. Fitzgerald/ParaglideMarch 19, 2010
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Sometimes, making change in the world means you have to make change - the cold, hard kind to be exact.
That's what the children at the Cook Child Development Center have done. For the past few weeks, the children here have been collecting money to donate to the Red Cross' Haiti relief efforts.
The effort was dubbed "Pennies for Haiti" and concluded Friday. It was on that day that Andy Adams, the Fort Bragg Red Cross assistant station manager, picked up the donation during a ceremony attended by the center's children. The grand total given to the Red Cross was $317.56, an amount that exceeded most expectations.
"The idea came after the earthquake hit Haiti," said Priscilla Lord, the center's assistant director. "One of our staff wanted us to give something to the people, so I called the Red Cross to see what we could donate. They told me that the best thing to give was money, so we came up with 'Pennies for Haiti.'"
Lord explained that she wanted to make sure each of the facility's children could participate.
"When we told the kids what we wanted to do, they were really excited," she said. "Some of them understood that there were people who needed help, and others didn't quite understand. But they all seemed very excited to put the pennies in the jar."
When Adams asked Lord about how much money was in the big, plastic jug, Lord said, "You know, I have no clue, but I do know that this thing is very heavy."
Luckily, Adams didn't have to lug the heavy jug all the way to his car. Lord took the change to the bank and had it converted to paper money.
"The Red Cross slogan is 'Change a life,' and that's exactly what we do and you are helping to do," Adams said to the center's staff and children during the ceremony. "The great thing about the Red Cross is that every penny you donate for the people of Haiti goes directly to the relief efforts."