If you’ve ever returned from a trip overseas with a pocketful of foreign coins and left them in a jar on your dresser, there’s a way to clean up your tabletop and donate to a worthy cause at the same time. American and United Kingdom charities accept yen, euros, pence, shillings and all types of worldwide coins as donations. Instead of leaving your foreign coins scattered around your house or apartment, donate them to a charity and help make a stranger’s life better.
Give leftover change to Unicef. You can do this on the plane during your trip home. Several airlines, including British Airways, Aer Lingus, Cathay Pacific and American Airlines participate in this charity. The flight attendants collect the donated change and send it to Unicef. The organization then distributes the money to help children internationally through the Change for Good program.
Stop by your nearest currency exchange. Many agencies handling international money, like Thomas Cook, participate in charity programs. They usually collect the change right there via a coin jar or direct collection by the clerk.
Drop off coins at the airport travel exchange before you head home. Most exchanges will accept your foreign change, and it’s a great way to empty your pockets of excess weight.
Mail the change to a charity that works in the country of issue. Since most well-known charities offer services internationally, just about any organization will accept donated foreign coins. Always call before mailing coins to confirm their acceptance, and pack the coins in a bubble or padded envelope.
Research other local drop-off points for foreign coins. Some local charities or organizations set up collection booths at shopping malls during special events or promotions.
Donate the coins to a local school or youth program. Foreign coins make a good teaching tool. They can help children to learn about travel, foreign cultures, history and other subjects.
Marianne Moro is a copywriter and journalist based in Hollywood. She has been writing professionally since 1999, specializing in home remodeling, interior decorating, pets, travel and holistic health. Moro was a part-time editor and contributing writer for Remodeleze.com, a home remodeling and decorating website, and has also contributed to the Cutting Chair and Entertainment Today.