A Herkimer Elementary tradition of supporting the community is being revived this spring as the 2019 “Pennies for Posters” fundraising drive gets underway.
The school is collecting spare change donations through May 16 to support the Missing Child Poster Distribution program of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
The program, which is run by the NCMEC’s Mohawk Valley regional office, prints and mails as many as 3,000 posters each day to help find missing children all over the country.
‘It only takes one poster’
If you thought a few pennies won’t make a difference in such a massive effort, think again. It takes just 25 cents for the Utica office to produce a single poster. And, as program assistant Josephine LaSalle pointed out, for as many posters as they mail out each day, “It only takes one poster to find a child.”
HES students can bring in donations of pennies and other loose change through May 16. In addition, a carnation sale will be held Friday, May 10, in honor of Mother’s Day. Carnations will be sold for $1 each in the cafetorium. Proceeds from the sale will support another initiative of the NCMEC — the Ride for Missing Children, which takes place Friday, June 7.
A message of safety and support
In addition to supporting this community-wide effort, the “Pennies for Posters” campaign reinforces messages to children about safety.
“It’s a way to raise awareness,” Principal Renee Vogt explained, “and help them stay safe while also helping others.”
The campaign kicked off with an announcement by members of the HES Student Council, with messages from the principal the following day to help students understand the mission being supported by the campaign.
“They’re very excited,” Mrs. Vogt explained, mentioning one student who had brought in $4 to support the effort.
The Ride for Missing Children for the Central New York region will begin at the Troop D State Police headquarters in Oneida, and travel through the region, visiting local schools along the way. Cyclists and other volunteers are invited to participate.