Volunteers Bob and Lenny sort the U.S. currency from foreign currency and other random items found in the fountain.
Visitors tossing coins in to the Valley fountains often “make a wish” — but did you know that your spare change helps grant wishes around the hospital too? Find out what it takes for our Volunteers in Action (VIA) program to put your coins to work.
Every couple of months, a member of Valley’s Plant Management team puts on fishing waiters and wades in to the main lobby and 2nd floor fountains to collect the change from the pools. The most recent collection amassed three large buckets of coins.
Clean, Sort, Dry, Count
One of the spaces many people do not know about Valley is the Coin Room. Deep within the Volunteer and Membership Services office is a humble room equipped just for this rather arduous task. Before heading to the bank, each bucket of coins must be:
- Cleaned. You’d be surprised by how much grime a coin acquires after only a few months in the water! Each batch of coins is cleaned with calcium-, lime-, and rust-removing cleaner.
- Hand-sorted. Only U.S. currency can be deposited. Foreign coins, and other random ephemera (including in this last sort car wash tokens, diary keys, metal beads, and grocery store rewards cards) are set aside and either utilized or tossed.
- Dried. Coins are dried on trays in a surplus autoclave.
- Counted. Fortunately, this is a task the volunteers do not need to do manually. A professional coin counting machine sorts and counts each batch of coins into U.S. Mint sacks, ready for deposit.
The three buckets took a team of four volunteers more than four hours to complete, but allotted nearly $750 for VIA’s bank account—not bad for a morning’s work!
Supporting the Hospital, Coin by Coin
Funds raised through the fountain donations support multiple VIA projects including an annual Thanksgiving dinner for NICU patients and families, a scholarship program for Valley employees looking to further their education, and the purchase of the courtesy vans for patient and visitor transports. So, next time you’re at Valley and you hear that change jingling in your pocket please take the time to “make a wish” and throw it in to the fountain. Your quarters, nickels, dimes, and pennies help VIA grant wishes throughout the hospital.
Total Counted and Deposited for Summer 2017 Collection: $748.63
Quarters: $291 (1,164 quarters)
Dimes: $203.10 (2,031 dimes)
Nickels: $79.70 (1,594 nickels)
Pennies: $174.83 (17,483 pennies)
That’s 22,272 individual coins!