For the next two weeks Unionites will do battle over pennies—not who can collect the most, but who can give the most. Starting today through February 11, “Penny Wars,” sponsored by the Amnesty International/Tiny Hands club, will raise money for Tiny Hands International, a local organization that has made it its mission to rescue girls in Nepal and other Asian countries from sex trafficking.
“It takes about $80 to rescue a girl from trafficking,” said Chris Blake, club sponsor. “We are shooting at raising $1000.” In simple maths, the money would help rescue 12-and-a-half girls.
Naturally, the goal is merely symbolic. The more that is raised, the better.
Sex trafficking is a modern-day type of slavery. There are an estimated 27 million slaves in the world right now. According to the Tiny Hands International website, nearly 2 million children around the globe are currently sex slaves. Tiny Hands makes it a point to give survivors a better way of life through hope and a Christian atmosphere.
Students Vernée Norman, Emily Wood, and Aerlice LeBlanc planned the event over Christmas break. The first week, pennies will be collected at a penny collecting station outside Union Market in the Ortner Center. The second week, the station will be relocated to the Ad Building.
Why Penny Wars? Each division will have a jug and the division that raises the most money will receive a prize.
Throught the Penny Wars, a variety of activities will help students better understand the need in Nepal. On Wednesday, Jan. 29, through Sunday, Feb. 2, a Pennyhead Photobooth will “allows all the participants to be the change,” said Norman.
Monday, Feb. 3, to Wednesday Feb. 5, participants will have the opportunity to write cards to the workers in Nepal—in the Nepali language. Then Thursday and Friday, Norman will be selling One Girl Prayer Initiative bracelets, representing a commitment to praying for a girl who has been rescued. The drive ends Tuesday, February 11, and the winners will be announced that day at chapel service.
While this is a penny drive, the slot in the station is significantly larger than a penny, so don’t be afraid to drop in coins—and bills—of more value.