Giving their pennies to help tsunami victims

Monday, January 17th 2005, 10:03 am
By: News On 6

Like many of us, two young Green Country girls were stirred by the tsunami relief efforts and wanted to do something themselves. News on 6 reporter Rick Wells has their story.

Ashley and Sarah-Nicole Johnson counted up and then gave away what amounts to a life time of savings. Ashley and Sarah-Nicole’s mom Cherie Johnson: "I'm very proud of them for wanting to do this."

Ashley is 12 and Sarah-Nicole’s 9. All their lives the girls have been saving the pennies they find, in a giant baby bottle shaped bank. Sarah-Nicole Johnson: "We were gonna save them up for a jet ski.”

Then they saw lots of news stories about tsunami ravaged areas of South Asia and Eastern Africa. Ashley Johnson: "Seeing all those tragedies just seemed more important that a jet ski."

So they brought their pennies to Albertsons at 15th and Lewis to one of those Coinstar counting machines. They decided to give the money to the Red Cross.

The Albertson's folks heard what they were doing and the Manager David White said the store and Coinstar would match what the girls contribute. "Just seemed like the right thing to do.” Brandon Brazeel manager of the in-store BOK branch said they'd do the same. The girls fed the machine their pennies for well over a half hour and finally the last ones were counted.

The machine tallied up the results and printed a receipt, $157.43 to the Red Cross and with the matches, their contribution amounts to almost $500.

But they're not done; the family helps find homes for abandoned shelties. They were in the process of taking a cutie to a new home in Oklahoma City.

Not bad for a Martin Luther King Day holiday.