During his tenure as editor, Ray Geiger, who helmed the Farmers’ Almanac from 1935 until his death in 1994, took on a number of issues, including several dealing with US currency. In the 1989 edition he advocated creating a dollar coin (gold and larger than the Susan B. Anthony dollar), and eliminating the dollar bill and the penny. At the time, hundreds of millions of dollars would have been saved.
A quarter of a century later, we’ve decided to revisit this issue. Today, it costs more to make a penny than it is worth – 2¢ to produce a 1¢ coin that most people simply no longer value. Pennies get left behind at checkout counters, dropped, and left, on the ground, or collect dust at the bottoms of drawers.
Our penny campaign is two-fold. First, we want you to scrounge up all of those pennies collecting dust in forgotten corners of your home and use them to do some good. We’re calling on readers to hold penny drives for their favorite nonprofit organizations and tell us about it. Then, in March, we’ll ask you to vote on the most worthy organizations, and we’ll give three separate nonprofits 50,000 pennies ($500) each. Click here for rules and information on how to enter.
Then, we want you to write to your senators and representatives and tell them it’s time to follow the lead of Canada, and many other countries, in pitching the penny. Click here for our suggested letter, and here to find contact information for your local representative.
Read all about both of these initiatives on our Pennies4Profit page.