Local student turning cents into dollars for charity

Students in Dripping Springs brought their collected coins to school and laid out a veritable ‘carpet of copper’ on a classroom floor Friday. They even had a chance to lob some pennies at assistant principals wearing protective head gear.

Cambria Sawyer, a senior at Dripping Springs High School, started the program last year as a way to send funds to Pan de Vida, a battered women’s shelter and orphanage in Mexico.

“The smallest penny, when put together, makes a world of difference,” Sawyer said. “When you come together, the smallest act of kindness can make the largest difference.”

Students raised more than 100,000 pennies, or $1,000, this year. In 2013, more students here raise more than $600

“It feels funny and it’s a really great cause, throwing pennies,” said student Morgan Perras. “Obviously, you’re not hurting the teachers, so that’s cool… and it’s just a fun thing to raise money.”

The Penny Drop idea is proving popular globally with groups setting up funding drives in Lebanon, the UK and the Philippines.

“It’s been an inspiration to see that other people really are on board with this,” Sawyer said.

Sawyer was awarded the Certificate of Excellence in the 2014 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program. The award honors middle and high schoolers volunteering in their communities.

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