At only five years old, Makayla Bodie spends her time worrying about children her own age on the other side of the world.
“We’re raising money for clean water, because kids are getting sick and dying,” said Bodie, who is collecting pennies for Free the Children’s, We Create Change project.
After a school fundraising project, she decided she wanted to continue helping people.
“She had just finished fundraising for Unicef with the school, and she was sad because she didn’t want to be done fundraising. She wanted to keep going, so I told her we could find another project to raise money for. She wanted to do clean water, so I went online and researched Free the Children,” said Bodie’s mom, Melissa Lavoie.
“I wasn’t surprised, she just likes to help with that stuff.”
Every year Bodie helps her mom with the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, and earlier this year she helped out with the Turn on the Tap fundraiser, which is where she first learned about the need for clean water around the world.
We Create Change, which is being called Canada’s biggest penny drive, is collecting pennies through the Royal Bank of Canada. For every 2,500 pennies collected, one person gets clean water for life.
Bodie’s original goal was to raise enough to help 20 people (50,000 pennies or $500). In her first week of the campaign, she is already well on her way to reaching that goal.
Lavoie posted a video on the Golden Free Classifieds Facebook page on Saturday Nov. 24, letting people know what Bodie was doing.
“Within the last six days she’s raised almost $400,” said Lavoie. “She’s already raised enough for 16 people.”
The community has been wonderful, bringing over jars and bags full of pennies. There was even a single donation (a huge plastic beer bottle full of pennies) that totalled $165.
Bodie will be collecting pennies until Dec. 19. People can drop off donations at Selkirk Sports, or at the family’s home. If you would like to contribute, you can contact Lavoie at 250-344-1711.