ABOVE: Joshua Morrison is hoping to donate 10 million pennies to Habitat for Humanity. Jennifer Palisoc reports.
TORONTO – A 12-year-old boy is hoping stacks of pennies will add up to a home.
Joshua Morrison, a grade 7 student at Joseph Gould Public school plans to donate 10 million pennies ($100,000) to Habitat For Humanity so a house can be built for a family in Oshawa.
“I just felt that I should help them,” he said in an interview Monday.
The task at hand? Collecting the pennies.
He’s urging everyone to scour their homes for forgotten pennies that he can use. He’s placed donation bins in local stores and is receiving pennies by the handful from his classmates.
“People have come with pennies, sometimes just a little amount of pennies but also a big amount of pennies,” he said.
So far, the pile is 75,000 pennies high.
He was inspired to lend a hand to Habitat for Humanity in February while at ReStore. He noticed they were coins and he wanted to help.
“I noticed their penny collection and I saw they were collecting pennies so I asked about it and they said that it was for a house and so right when I got home I decided I wanted to help them,” he said.
Mary Bone, the executive director of Habitat for Humanity Durham, said she was shocked when she first heard about the campaign.
“I thought ‘wow that’s quite a mission for someone his age to try and take on,’” she said. “I think it is a monumental task and I think he is just the guy for the job.”
The money will go towards the funding of Centretown, Oshawa, a 24-townhome development for low-income families. If the campaign can meet it’s goal, Bone said one of the homes will be dedicated “Josh’s penny home.”
But as anyone who has had a surplus of change knows, counting it all can be a chore. Morrison has found a clever solution.
He filled a bag with pennies until it weighed 2 pounds. Then he counted them. Now, instead of counting each penny, he weighs them in 2 pounds increments and estimates how many pennies he has.
– With files from Jennifer Palisoc
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