Ruth O'Bryan and Eli Tetrault

Ruth O'Bryan and Eli Tetrault

Helping get rid of pennies, helping others

The Nelson Gyro Club is encouraging the community to save their pennies for a fundraiser that aims to help out friends and families.

The Nelson Gyro Club is encouraging the community to save their pennies for a fundraiser that aims to help out friends and families.

Starting today, the Gyro Club is holding a coin drive throughout the community to raise money for Friends of the Family, a local charity dedicated to helping those in time of emergency.

Eli Tetrault, a member of the Nelson Gyro Club, said the            club doesn’t usually hold fundraisers, but they felt it was the right time to give back to the community.

“Now that the federal government is doing away with pennies, we thought it would be a great time to start a coin drive,” he said, adding that after looking for a charity to donate to they chose Friends of the Family for the work they do supporting those in need in the community.

“They do a lot of good in the community and all of the money stays in the community,” said Tetrault.

“I was totally pleasantly surprised when I was informed of it,” said Friends of the Family board member Ruth O’Bryan.

Operating in the community since 2000, O’Bryan says the charity was formed to fill a gap that was evident in terms of helping people out.

“What we do is try to help out families that get into sudden medical crisis, provide them with financial aid so they can deal with some expenses of their medical situation,” she said.

“There’s all sorts of medical plans, but they don’t kick in very quickly. If you have to go to Vancouver or Calgary for medical reasons tomorrow and you don’t have that kind of money, you’ll need some help.”

O’Bryan said last year they helped out nine families, one on a recurring basis, and gave out just under $20,000.

Friends of the Family receives donations from the community periodically, but O’Bryan said          to have a fundraiser like this if very uncommon.

Those looking to donate their coins can call 250-352-7042, or visit one of the local businesses where the Gyro Club is placing mason jars for donation.