I had been trying for awhile to think of a way to get my five year old, Spencer, involved in some kind of philanthropy. One day he saw me looking at the Nothing But Nets website on my computer and asked me about it. When I explained to him about what Nothing But Nets does to help families in Africa, he immediately said that he wanted to help by rolling some of the many pennies he had been working hard to save. That week he rolled $10 worth of pennies (That is over 1,000 coins to roll!) and we took the money to the bank to deposit it. He was so proud when he told the bank teller that he was using the money to buy mosquito nets to save lives of African families from malaria.
Over the summer, Spencer continued rolling coins and we made multiple trips to take them to the bank. When I started planning a garage sale, Spencer asked if he could have a stand to sell lemonade and water. I told him it was a great idea, and when I asked him what he wanted to do with his earnings, he said, “I think we should use them to buy more nets.”
Bright and early both mornings of our garage sale, Spencer and his little sister, Ginger, sat behind a cooler filled with ice and bottled water with a poster explaining why they were raising money and where the proceeds would go. We also printed out flyers and handed them out to garage sale customers. Several people bought multiple bottles of water, and even customers who didn’t want water donated money. There were also people who gave Spencer two or three dollars for a bottle of water instead of just the dollar he was asking for.
In the end, Spencer and Ginger raised $70 for nets and I made a contribution on their behalf. He is still rolling coins, and now that Spencer is in kindergarten, we hope to be able to involve his school in fundraising for Nothing But Nets too!