The Pennies for Patients campaign returns to Northwest


The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is currently raising money at Northwest for their Pennies for Patients campaign. Donating money to the cause helps fight blood cancers.

In every classroom, small yellow boxes advertising for students to donate pennies are located on desks and tables throughout the entire school.  Pennies for Patients has returned to Northwest. Every year, students participate in the nationwide Pennies for Patients campaign sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).  This year, Northwest is hoping to raise even more money for blood cancer research.

Pennies for Patients started in 1994 and since then, with the help of elementary, middle and high school students throughout the country, raised over 150 million dollars.  This money benefits LLS in fighting blood cancer. It’s also a great way for students to feel like they are helping with a good cause.

“When we were collecting funds, we made it somewhat of a game to collect money.  We were competitive with each other and how much we were donating,” sophomore Delaney Moran said.  

Moran was a student in English teacher Melanie Huynh-Duc’s ninth-grade class that won the Pennies for Patients campaign last year.  

The Pennies for Patients fundraiser is not only for students at Northwest.  Many students and teachers involve their own families in efforts to raise more money.

“Mrs. Huynh-Duc really got into it,” Moran said, “She encouraged us to donate money and told us how she was involving her family in order to help us raise money and win.”

In this way, students at Northwest are also including members from the community to help fight blood cancer with the LLS.  Students enjoyed contributing to LLS because they saw it as a way to help out others who are facing leukemia or lymphoma and bring awareness to these and other blood cancers.  

“I felt like I was being helpful to the cause so I enjoyed donating,” sophomore Celia Bennett said, “Mrs. Huynh-Duc definitely encouraged us to bring money in and she passed the box around every day, so we were all more motivated to bring in money.”

Pennies for Patients incentivizes students to donate money by offering the winning class a free pasta lunch sponsored by Olive Garden.  This encourages many students to donate more money and contributes to a competitive atmosphere during the campaign.

“It was pretty exciting (winning) because Mrs. Huynh-Duc had been hyping it up quite a bit so we were all really happy when we won and we really felt accomplished,” Bennett said.

“Everyone in my class was very happy (to win), we all celebrated and cheered when we found out we won,” Moran said, “The day we got the food, we used all of the class to eat it and celebrate and we all had a good time.”

Students enjoyed the campaign and the reward that came with donating the most money.

Overall, the Pennies for Patients is a successful campaign for raising awareness of blood cancers and helping fund research.  

“I really liked participating and feeling like I was a part of something that was really helping other people,” Moran said.