Common Cents Mission: Common Cents, creator of the Penny Harvest, nurtures a new generation of caring and capable young people between the ages of four and 24 by enabling them to strengthen their communities through philanthropy and service-learning.

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Penny Harvest NYC / Metro NY

Home > Penny Harvest > Location > NYC / Metro NY > Families > Parent Harvest
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Welcome to our first Parent Harvest!

The economic crisis of last year hit us hard.  Thanks to help from our friends, we’re getting back on our feet.  But we never want to rely on banks, foundations or any one funder again. And we still need funds to make this year the best ever for our children in the over 800 schools that operate – and love – the Penny Harvest.

By giving your child $1 to bring to school, you can help save the Penny Harvest and join the Penny Harvest Advisory Board of committed parents.

To join the Advisory Board, click here.

We’re calling this campaign the Parent Harvest because it was a parent (Teddy Gross, Co-Founder and Executive Director) who started the Penny Harvest when his four-year-old daughter expressed her desire to feed a homeless man nearly twenty years ago (see the full version of our story). Like many parents, he felt the need to help his daughter – and all kids her age – become active citizens. Now we want to invite you, the next generation of parents, to join us by forming a Penny Harvest Advisory Board. Sign-up now.


Learn More: the Penny Harvest is not just about pennies...

Many parents don’t know that gathering pennies is just one part of our year-long program. After students gather pennies, they form Philanthropy Roundtables to study community problems and determine which organizations to donate their funds to.

The Philanthropy Roundtable makes the Penny Harvest distinctive among programs by giving children the power and the freedom to decide how to spend their harvest funds. They use the money they collected to make small grants, donating all the money back into their communities. Last year Penny Harvesters made 1,725 cash grants to community organizations, such as homeless shelters, animal rescue organizations, community gardens and senior centers.

Students often take their philanthropy a step farther by organizing Neighborhood Service projects. From revitalizing public gardens to teaching English to immigrants, students partner with experienced neighborhood groups to learn more about complex community problems and how to work together to solve them.

Check out our online listing of all grants and service projects. You can search by school! Check out our YouTube page for videos about the Penny Harvest.


Other ways to stay involved...

  • Office Harvest: Set up a collection jar in your workplace to raise more pennies while you and your child work together as a harvesting team.
  • Become a Parent Coach: Volunteer to help the Penny Harvest Coach at your child’s school by helping to run a school-wide Penny Bag Decorating contest. The top 3 Penny Bags can be submitted to enter our first city-wide Penny Bag Decorating contest!
  • Make a donation: Your generous donation allows Common Cents to provide the Penny Harvest program to over 800 New York schools.
  • Spread the word: Tell your friends and other parents about the Penny Harvest. The Penny Harvest has been fostering leadership, philanthropy and service in schools for over 17 years and we want to continue that for many years to come.
  • Join our mailing list: Stay informed about the latest news at Common Cents and the Penny Harvest!

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