Origins of a Tradition: Pennies A Day

Penny-A-Day Cans Sent to Clubs

Most of you are asking yourself “What is Penny-A-Day?” Recently we sent each club a new” Penny-

A-Day can for use at your meetings. That’s all you do with the can – pass it around the room and the members deposit any loose change. This money is then presented to the delegates at the National Convention to be placed in a restricted account at the National level for charity purposes.

But first, let me tell you how it all began. In the 1950’s, when the organization was still Active 20-30 International, with no National associations, the funds from the clubs went to fight Rheumatic Fever and funds were deposited into the International Rheumatic Fever Foundation.

At the 1965 International Convention, the delegates voted to change their support to children who were deaf. They set up the Active 20-30 International Charity Foundation, Inc. and the project was known as “Project Deaf”. The cans appeared on the scene in 1968.

In 1974, the International organization changed their emphasis to the “Foster Parents Program”. (Throughout the organization’s history they have assisted Aid to Scouting, General Child Welfare and a program working with the FBI fighting juvenile delinquency with the “Keys in the Car” project.)

In 1981, the association created National Associations, The Active 20-30/U.S. & Canada, Inc. was created. The International Charity did nothing for sometime, so in 1989 our National association created the “Active 20-30 Foundation, Inc.”

We do not support any particular charity on the National level except for maybe the National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse.

So to re-educate all the members (and I’m sure many of our clubs have never seen the Can), we have sent new cans for your use. “That’s all we ask – a penny-a-day for the kids”. Assign the responsibility of passing the can to your Sgt-of-Arms.

Your National Board of Trustees for the Foundation has made it a goal to collect enough funds to equal the amount of members we have in the association. That could amount to about $6,000. In the history of our association, we have yet to achieve that goal. Wouldn’t it be a great testimony to have that amount collected at the National Convention?

The funds received go into a restricted account in the Active 20-30 Foundation. These funds are not used for general operating expenses. Our intent is to build up enough money to live off the interest. Thereby, we could begin distributing funds to child welfare projects on a national basis or even to our clubs as a matching grant program.

So, get to work! Past that can! We hope every club is sending a delegate to the National Convention in Portland where each club will make a presentation of funds at the General Meeting.

Yes, we pay dues. Yes, we pay for meals at our meetings. And, yes, we give our sweat to making our projects successful but this is a way for each member to directly give to charity – for just $3.65 for the year. Here is one tradition that binds all of our clubs together.

(The Active Twenty-Thirtian, 1992, p3)



1 thought on “Origins of a Tradition: Pennies A Day

  1. LOVE the history of this. When I joined, the Pennies-a-Day campaign was explained to me as ‘ a small effort or gift over time and by many adds up to something pretty significant’. Pennies, collected across our organization throughout the year can become a meaningful check that has a real impact without it ever feeling like a burden on any one person or club.


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