Words can not begin to define the events for today. How can I possibly share even one drop of the JOY that was generated?
The Gifting Ceremony at the Salvation Army Kettle was scheduled for 10 AM. Doc and I just knew someone would ask if was had found today’s coin yet. So precisely at midnight, Doc and I grabbed a flashlight and headed out to get today’s coin.
The ceremony at the Red Kettle was wonderful. We wrapped up there and then Doc and I “hit the streets” for the next 7 hours. We logged nearly 20,000 steps, collected 70 coins and bills, and exposed dozens and dozens of people to Penny Fever!
I wish I could share each of the experiences with you. There were silly stories, and tender stories; smiles and laughter. If I could somehow bottle it up and give each of you just One drop of it, it would light up your day!
To write all these stories from today is overwhelming; to NOT write them would be wasteful. There is so much JOY to share.
I wrote for 3 hours last night, then collapsed. Had to sleep. Resuming this morning.
See 2 minutes of the Gifting Ceremony on YouTube
12:00 AM Doc and I grabbed a flashlight and went Penny Hunting.
12:05 AM No coins to be found at KFC, Arby’s or McDonalds, but one at Taco Bell.
We were done. We could have gone home at this point. But Doc said we should go see Tony at 7-11. We first stopped at the newly opened Chevron station. Met Robert (Photo #1) who shook the floor mat at the register so we could look for coins! We collected a dime from the mat, a penny inside the store, then one in the gas pump area.
12:30 AM Tony was not working, but we collected a shiny penny under the counter at 7-11, then a second penny in the threshold as we were leaving.
12:40 AM As we were heading to the bank, a skunk ran across the street in front of us. Always a good sign when you see an unusual animal.
So 6 coins today before we went to bed. (1 dime, 5 pennies)
We woke up with anticipation of today. ONE YEAR of consecutive penny finding.
So many stories contained in that little jar (Photo #2 of jar). EVERY PENNY HAS A STORY TO TELL.
As we were driving to the event, I was regretting that I didn’t fill a water bottle to drink. Doc said so romantically, “It is such a special day, maybe we’ll splurge and buy you a fresh bottle of water today!” Wow - big spender.
As we drove into the Whittier shopping mall, the store in front of us was Nickel, Nickel. We laughed. Nickels are the rarest coins to find so I said out loud, “Hear that Penny Angels? Nickel, nickel, nickel, nickel…. Are you going to deliver some of those today?”
We parked by JC Penney where the Gifting was to take place. We were scouting the area and Doc found a nickel (which is the rarest coin to Find) right in the spot where the ceremony was to take place! (Coin #7) What a Good Omen!
The Salvation Army Marketing Director Dawn Wright, Lt. Robert Davidson, Pat Burns, the children bell ringers and several newspaper reporters were on hand. We presented the jar filled with 3472 Coins and paper money, plus the PennyFinders check for the double match. That made a total of $550! The kids were singing, the bells were ringing, the cameras flashing. JOY!
The gifting and ceremony took less than one hour. There was so much of the day remaining…
At 10:45 the ceremonies had concluded and Doc and I were left with HUGE, bursting out JOY. What to do with it? We looked at each other with that knowing grin -- Penny Fever!. It was time for Penny Hunting!
We headed down Whittier Blvd. to see where the Penny Angels would lead us.
First stop: Breakfast at Polly’s Pies. We shared the story with customers in the waiting area, our waitress, and Annelise as we were paying our check. She was so delightful. As we were talking to her, a penny manifested right under us! (Coin #8)
Our next stop was the Quad at Whittier - a HUGE shopping mall.
We parked and Doc walked down one parking aisle while I walked the other. He collected a penny. (Coin #9)
At Petco there was a penny waxed into floor. Even using a key, we could not budge it. (embedded penny)
At Rite Aid Doc found a penny in the liquor section. (Coin #10) .
* He said we still needed to find a Quarter today.
At Ralphs there were two pennies in front, one inside. Doc walked right over that penny, but his focus was the nearest bathroom. While waiting for Doc, I shared the story with the boxboy, cashiers, customers. Gary was repairing a vending machine. There was a dime next to him, so I asked for it. He says dimes appear for him (he must be more experienced. I am only at penny finding). As he moved the door of the vending machine to wipe it, a quarter appeared! * Now we had a Hit for the Cycle! (Coins #11-15)
Dollar Tree: three pennies, no smiles (Coins #16-18)
Staples: one penny at Register with Nicole as witness. Another penny behind a copier and over a half wall (Coins #19&20)
Penny at the base of the planter where Doc had just been sitting. (Coin #21)
Burlington Coat Factory. Obtained: No pennies, but a copper colored jacket as a souvenir for the day.
We went back out onto Whittier Blvd. and started driving…
CVS: a dime tilted vertically under a toe kick, nickel in the threshold of the automatic door. (Coins #22&23)
Del Taco - bought an ice tea, but no coins
Burger King 1 penny (Coin #24)
Rite Aid: Doc found a $5 bill WOW! We have found $1 and $20s in the past, but never a $5 or $10. (Find #25)
Food for Less: one penny (Find #26)
We hopped on the freeway and headed toward home.
Doc had a nudging to pull off and go through the Starbucks in West Covina. P (3), N (2), D (6), Q (2) (Finds #27-39)
Back on the freeway. Shouldn’t we just go home and collapse now?
Nope, let’s pass through the San Dimas area on the way home ...
Starbucks: No coins
CVS I was looking along the check out area. Planned to turn right. Nudged to turn left. Quarter found on the left. (Find #40)
3:15 Albertsons Dime in magazine area
There was a penny waxed into floor. Needed pry tool to extract. Bell ringer was nice. Dropped some spare change there. (Finds 41&42)
Circle K Had to stop and Celebrate this day with Margita. She had been part of Day #200. She said she told her granddaughters about the Penny Lady and now they collect and save up pennies to donate. Found 2 pennies there. (Finds #43&44)
Next through the La Verne Area
Rite Aid There was a little boy with ice cream who witnessed my penny find there.
Spoke to the man in the car parked next to ours. He was really nice. He had a kitten and we talked about his wife and other cat. He said, “You must be the Penny lady I read about in the paper today!” Fun. (Find #45)
3:50 99¢ store Another Nickel! WOW! Remember the nickel request from earlier today? (Find #46)
4:06 Vons Grocery store. There were 4 pennies inside then a dime outside which I just KNEW was not a dime. Penny Angels like to play. Nice manager there who was offering his help (since I looked lost). As we were leaving, Doc managed a double median find. This day was full of surprises! (Finds #47-53)
4:15 Stopped by the ATM machine and then the Stater Bros. I found 1 penny and announced it to everyone within hearing range. Customers perked up. One gave a high endorsement of the Salvation Army efforts. Nice bell ringer outside. Doc found a 10 cent piece from Singapore. Foreign find. (Finds #54&55)
4:20 Jewelry store to say hello to our friends. Shared with all the customers in the store.
4:25 Albertsons: by lottery area. Penny under a lady’s shopping cart. (Find #56)
4:35 Carl’s Jr. drive through nothing
Can you tell I have lost track of the coins we have been finding? Too many, too fast, and too many interesting stories from people. I’m getting behind on the documentation of all this.
Next through the Claremont Area
4:40 7-11: Tony was working! Yipee! Hugs 4 pennies + nickel under the counter. Tony was so thrilled to be included in this Celebration. He pulled out two special coins from his pocket to give me: they were $1 gold coins. My heart melted. (Find #57-61)
5:00 Sprouts grocery: Lots of smiles and cards distributed
Kindred Spirits Open House: Hugs and Cards
5:20 At Trader Joes, Brussel Sprout Jodi remembered us from our Nov 14 visit. She said she had told others about PennyFinders. She was excited about today. She loudly rang the bell at her station so that everyone in the check out area got to share the JOY! It was fun.
5:40 At the next stop I wandered through the coin laundry. There was only one person in the room. He was fixing his chainmail bracelet so I showed him the copper one I was wearing today for good luck. I found a penny on the floor (Find #62) and he was my witness, so I told him about PennyFinders and the Salvation army gift. Chuck said, “Let’s see if I have any pennies in my pocket.” Understatement! He had 62 pennies which he offered to “gift”. So I thanked him and then carried the coins to the red kettle outside in front of the grocery store. The bell ringer was nice. Such JOY.
5:45 At the grocery store I found 4 pennies. As we were checking out the manager asked about my shirt. (It has PennyFinders on it). I told him the story. He laughed, tossed a penny in the aisle and said, “There you go”. I told him that would be cheating and we put it in the collection box on the counter. Doc found a dime as we were leaving. (Find #63-67)
6:10 HOME!!! Dinner, Dogs, Unpacking, etc.
7:00 - 11:30 Phone calls and journaling this day
There are still 3 pennies and a dime sitting in front of me! (Finds #68-70). I haven’t a clue as to where they fit in this day! I was having too much fun talking to all those people. The coins, themselves, were not the point of focus. Sharing JOY was.
See 2 minutes of the Gifting Ceremony on YouTube
Lesson: Nothing is Impossible
Today’s Total: 68 U.S. coins P (45), N (6), D (13), Q (4) = $3.05
Plus $5 makes it $8.05
Plus a 10¢ coin from Singapore and one embedded penny
(That total would only cover about ½ the price of the gasoline used!)
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