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Piling Up Pennies for People in Pottsville

POTTSVILLE — When it comes to donations, every little bit helps, especially during the holiday season. That’s why a group in Schuylkill County decid...

POTTSVILLE -- When it comes to donations, every little bit helps, especially during the holiday season. That's why a group in Schuylkill County decided to collect pennies and turn them into some real cash.

You find them in your wallet, your car, and even your couch, but pennies -- when you have enough of them -- can really help someone out.

That's the theory behind the Pennies for People campaign by the Pottsville Lions Club.

For the past month, the Lions Club placed jars at different businesses in Pottsville. When someone had spare change they dropped a penny. Some even dropped some paper. And all the cash and coins are for Schuylkill Community Action food pantries.

"Every penny will buy food for needy people."

Eighteen businesses in Pottsville put out those jars and allowed customers to put any kind of donation they wanted to inside.

"It's just phenomenal how people will step up and help others during the holiday," said Jerry Enders, Pottsville Lions Club.

"To see how generous the community was, it's overwhelming to me."

So far, between coins and cash, the Lions raised almost $500 for the 18 food pantries in the Schuylkill Food Network. The pantries haven't received any state funding for months because of what's happening in Harrisburg.

"It's especially needed this year because of the budget impasse," said Marybeth Dohmann, Schuylkill Community Action. "We've not been able to make our scheduled purchases for our food pantries are really low."

People who run the pantries say that extra money will buy a lot of food and help plenty of families.

"At 19 cents a pound, it can go very, very far," said Jason Schally.

The Lions Club will still be collecting pennies until the end of the month.

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