I once overheard a conversation between two teenage girls where they
talked about how much they hated pennies. One of the girls said she
disliked pennies so much that she threw them away. I was aghast, not
just at the idea of literally throwing away money, but because, for me,
pennies mean clean water.

For more than five years, I’ve saved every penny I’ve gotten for the
African Well Fund. I never spend pennies. I pick pennies up off the
ground. I kept a jar on my desk at work and was always happy to receive
baggies-full, mugs-full or even hands-full of pennies from coworkers.

One Christmas, a friend brought me a water jug filled with pennies that
she rescued from someone who planned to dump the jar when he moved out
of his house. The jug weighed nearly 20 pounds and yielded about $50 for
the African Well Fund.

My penny hauls aren’t usually that large, but I know that each one has
made a difference. For the jars that I turn into cash (about $10 per
jarful) and then into donations (more than $200 since I started saving
pennies), African Well Fund uses that money to fund projects implemented
by Africare that will improve access to clean water and sanitation for
thousands of people, projects that will keep people healthy, projects
that will help girls stay in school, projects that will make new
businesses possible, projects that will change lives.

For World Water Day, the African Well Fund hopes to collect a mile of
pennies (84,480 pennies, or $844.80, lined up makes a mile) to fund
future projects, and needs your help. You can pledge to save pennies for
the African Well Fund here.

I’ve signed the pledge and my jar is ready. Let’s work together to turn more pennies into clean water.