Thursday, April 9, 2009

Finding Your True North in a Handful of Pennies

Last night after returning home late at night from a seder, I turned on the TV while sleepily preparing for bed. A commercial came on while my back was facing the television, and I heard a familiar voice telling a familiar story. I turned around to see Teddy Gross, the founder of Common Cents, in a commercial for True North snack products.

Teddy is the father of Nora, my classmate from Princeton. The Common Cents story derives from their strong father-daughter relationship. When Nora was young, she wanted to help a homeless man she discovered on the street in NYC. Teddy, inspired by his daughter's simple wish, dreamed up an idea for a charity which gives CHILDREN the power to affect great change through the simple resources available to them. In many homes, children receive an allowance in the form of loose change or pennies, which are small (like children themselves), but once collected and saved, can make a big difference. Thus was born Common Cents, and the Penny Harvest, which helps children in New York collect pennies, then discuss and choose the charity that should benefit from the money.

Last year, at Nora's encouragement, I volunteered for Common Cents and worked with Teddy as they prepared to celebrate a major achievement: the Penny Field in Rockefeller Center.
The Penny Field displayed $1 million IN PENNIES collected by New York's schoolchildren. It was a glistening, beautiful spectacle.

I was also invited to attend the celebratory banquet at the Rainbow Room on the 64th floor of 30 Rock.

Nora and I celebrate her charity's success in the Rainbow Room.

I'm so glad when good people actually come out on top in this crazy world of ours.
Congrats to Teddy and Common Cents!
You can see the commercial here.

Time to eat more brisket!

1 comment:

JGIWC said...

My family and I loved seeing that every time we went to J. Crew. I am also fairly certain that we tossed some pennies in, even though we are not school children! Wah wah we wah