Donald E. White, 32, K.C.C.H.
Tucson, Arizona

A penny-oriented fundraising program benefits the Tucson Scottish Rite’s Child Language Center.

The unique “Pennies from Heaven” program was implemented approximately four years ago in the Valley of Tucson, Arizona, and has exceeded the warmest of initial expectations. All proceeds go directly to the Tucson Scottish Rite–University of Arizona Child Language Center. A frequent comment heard before this program came into effect was: “I’m on a fixed income and would like to help but just don’t have any extra money.” The “Pennies from Heaven” approach, however, allows everyone to participate, regardless of income, and is entirely voluntary. The Valley mails out decals requesting people to affix them to any type of container they wish. However, suitable “Mason” jars, those generally used in canning, are available free of charge to anyone stopping by the Tucson Scottish Rite office. The initial four cases of jars were gone in the first week following a Stated Meeting where the program was announced. Additional Mason jars were purchased and have proved popular during Reunions.

The jars—full of pennies and often mixed with nickels, dimes, quarters and, sometimes, greenbacks, including an occasional peso—are often returned personally to the Scottish Rite office. Almost always, another jar to fill is requested. An average jar of pennies ranges from $18.00 to $22.00. In one instance a jar had no coins at all, just a $50.00 bill! All contributors, when the donor is known, receive an acknowledgement and thanks from the Tucson Scottish Rite Foundation. In addition, donor names are printed in the Valley’s monthly newsletter, The Rite Words.

Many ladies have contributed jars full of coins, and several Tucson businesses display jars on their counters, but most donations come from the grassroots level, mainly retirees—those who initially stated they felt they didn’t have any spare income with which to assist the program. Now, everyone is involved. It’s a good feeling and a great boost for the Tucson Child Language Center. The “Pennies from Heaven” concept is simple, inexpensive, effective, fun. It allows everyone to participate and feel part of the Scottish Rite’s Childhood Language Disorders Program. Why not try this fundraiser in your Valley?

The Starfish

There was a young man walking down a deserted beach just before dawn. In the distance, he saw a man picking up stranded starfish and throwing them back into the sea. The youth gazed in wonder as the older man again and again threw the small starfish from the sand to the water. He asked, “Why do you spend so much energy doing what seems to be a waste of time?” The man explained that the stranded starfish would die if left in the morning sun. “But there must be thousands of beaches and millions of starfish!” exclaimed the young man. “How can you make a difference?” The gentleman looked down at the small starfish in his hand, and, as he threw it to the safety of the sea, he said, “I make a difference to this one.” Irv Furman, 1989

In sending the above story to Sovereign Grand Commander C. Fred Kleinknecht, 33, Illustrious John L. Atkinson, 33, Personal Representative, Valley of Shreveport, Louisiana, and Director of the Shreveport Scottish Rite Childhood Language Disorders Clinic, included this handwritten note: “We know we are small as clinics go, but the starfish story fits us to a T.”