wsls logo

How donating spare change is giving back to New River Valley community

YMCA at Virginia Tech’s first Community Change Project collects coins for national shortage, community programming

The change collected goes to local banks, while the monetary value goes towards YMCA community programs
The change collected goes to local banks, while the monetary value goes towards YMCA community programs

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Whether it’s in your piggy bank or in between sofa cushions, YMCA at Virginia Tech wants your change to raise money for community programs.

In August, YMCA at Virginia Tech launched its very first Community Change Project. It goes until Oct. 3.

The New River Valley nonprofit’s main source of income is its thrift store in Blacksburg, but because of the pandemic people haven’t been in to shop like they used to. The Y also had to cancel many of their usual events. At the same time, the need for outreach programs like the Y’s meal program has greater demand and had to expand.

This project is how staff decided to pivot to get the funds they need.

“Everybody can look under their sofa cushions and bring out their piggy banks and donate coins to the Y and they will really know they’re making positive change in the community with their money,” said Laureen Blackemore, YMCA at Virginia Tech’s director of community engagement.

The idea of this Community Change Project popped up once word got out about the national coin shortage, but now the Y wants to make it an annual event.

When you donate your change at one of the eight drop-off locations across Blacksburg and Christiansburg the change goes to the banks and the monetary value goes to the YMCA at Virginia Tech to help fund those community programs mentioned earlier.

Collecting change also impacts the New River Valley business community.

“You know for the few people who do bring in cash, it’s harder for all retailers and restaurants to make change to give them what they need. So this is hopefully getting it back into the banks and will circulate back to the people who need it.”

Drop-off locations include the YMCA at Virginia Tech Thrift Shop, the six Blacksburg National Bank branches and the National Bank Marketplace branch in Christiansburg.

YMCA at Virginia Tech is collecting change to raise money for programs and help local banks and businesses during the current national coin shortage. (Copyright 2020 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.)

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.