AMHERST – Such a simple idea. Place a jar on your nightstand, your desk at work or by the front door. Put 25 cents in it each day. Then donate the collected quarters to the Relay for Life.
“It’s a fundraiser that I came up with,” said cancer-survivor Wayne Myatt. He calls it Jars of Hope.
He conceived of the simple but effective fundraiser after noticing the potential in his own habit of keeping loose change in jars at home. He started thinking about how long it would take to raise $1,000 if he collected just a quarter a day, then how many days there were until the next relay, then how many people would need to have their own jars if the $1,000 total was going to intersect with June 7, when the relay will be held. At the time, he came up with 32 people. But now 144 people have signed on to the idea.
“Social media’s wonderful,” said Daren White, Spring Street Academy’s phys. ed. teacher who has survived his own cancer battle.
The two men are members of the B.K. Believers relay team, named in honour of Barry Kelly, the principal of Spring Street who was struck down by the disease. When Wayne approached Daren with the idea, the latter posted it on his Facebook page and word spread.
“They’re everywhere now,” said Myatt of the jars – in other provinces and the States.
Children are participating, too. White said they decorate their jars. He mentioned a local family of five that has a jar for each parent and child.
Part of the concept’s appeal, according to White, is that it’s attainable. Whether you have a big income or a small one, all that’s being asked is 25 cents each day (tax receipts will be issued).
“(It’s) a great idea,” said White.
The B.K. Believers can be found online at cancer.ca. The phys. ed. teacher said their goal is to top $18,000 total from all of their fundraising efforts this season. That figure would put them at about $100,000 collected since 2004.