Couple of weeks ago, going through boxes in my basement, I found a little pile of foreign coins from at least twelve different countries. Costa Rica, Italy, Czech Republic, Russia, India, Nicaragua, Israel – the list goes on. The banks usually do not accept foreign coins, and many of these countries I would not be going to again any time soon.
I remembered that on couple of my flights, you could actually get rid of our leftover foreign change by putting it in an envelope, and flight attendants would collect it. The money would then be sorted, converted into one currency, and donated to charity.
After a little bit of digging, I found that 1. yes, it’s a thing!, and 2. yes, you can send money directly to them, if you, like me, have random foreign coins kicking around the house.
From the website:
Change for Good is an innovative partnership between UNICEF and the international airline industry. Established in 1987, it is one of UNICEF’s best-known and longest-running partnerships. Thanks to the generous support of customers and participating airlines, the global Change for Good program has generated more than $174 million, which has contributed to UNICEF’s efforts to helping save and improve the lives of millions of children around the world.
You can send your foreign coins here:
ATTN: Change for Good Program
125 Maiden Lane
New York, NY 10038
Some folks wondered whether it would be worthwhile to send a bunch of coins in mail – surely, the shipping would cost as much, if not more, than the actual value of coins themselves. I ended up paying about $15 CAD for the package, which is probably as much or even more than the value of the coins in the envelope. Yet… I feel like it’s still worthwhile, and I’d rather pay $15 to Canada Post, AND have someone put the coins to good use, than to throw them out altogether, or have them lying around my house.
Some folks may decide differently, and that’s totally ok. For example, you might decide to just throw out the coins, OR make a donation for $15 CAD to UNISEF instead.