Pennies making a difference for children

Pinnacle students bring in $1,400
Apr. 10, 2014 @ 04:54 AM

One by one pennies were brought to Pinnacle Elementary School for United Way's penny drive. 

For weeks students and staff  brought their coins — hundreds of pennies — and some bills to go toward the cause of helping children across Rutherford County through United Way funded agencies.

When the time came to count the coins, the students had brought in $1,400.

"That's unprecedented,"said Faye Hassell, director of Rutherford County's United Way. "This is just amazing."

Wednesday morning, Beverly Black, representing United Way, traveled to Pinnacle where she met some of the students who  brought in the most money.

Benjamin Parker, fifth grader, represented Courtney Stone's class while first graders, Kinsley Caldwell and Hayden Phillips, represented Leah Buckley's class, among the top penny donors.

The children met Black and school guidance counselor, Jamie Tolbert, in the office and tried to pick up some of the heavy bags to present to Black. 

"Too heavy," said Kinsley. "I can do it," Hayden responded, struggling with the large bag of change.

Tolbert said students had an opportunity to raise funds through several different ways. 

The classes who brought in the most money were allowed to bring their iPods to school for a game day, he said.

"We were truly amazed in our students' generosity in giving," said principal Jason Byrd. "This support reflects our parent and community's views on helping those in need.

 "We have the confidence in our local United Way that these donations will go directly to families and organizations here in Rutherford County."  

Byrd reminded the students that United Way agencies support young children and youth in Rutherford County and the majority of the money stays in the county.

Hassell said United Way giving has not had a successful fundraising drive this year. 

However she said, the $1,400 from Pinnacle is an inspiration to everyone to give what they can.

"It takes all the money we can raise," she said.

The Pinnacle students and students from the other schools will serve on a Youth Allocations Committee in May and will have the job of allocating the money they raised to the United Way agencies they select.