Bank collecting Canadian currency to benefit Humane Society

ST. MARYS – Got some loose change lying around the house? Northwest Savings Bank branches in St. Marys, Ridgway and Johnsonburg are collecting unwanted Canadian currency to benefit the Elk County Humane Society. Linda Decker, branch manager of the downtown St. Marys and Bucktail branches of Northwest Savings Bank, said the bank will be placing collection jars at branches in the three communities. Decker said because of the northern neighbor’s proximity to the U.S., people often have Canadian coins mixed in with their American currency, while others may have Canadian coins from previous trips at home in a bowl or drawer. The bank’s coin machine, located at its downtown St. Marys branch, does not accept Canadian currency-- the coins do not filter through the machine-- and many people were simply leaving the coins at the bank after using the coin machine. Decker said organizers thought the jars would be a great way to collect the unwanted funds for the benefit of an organization that can really use the public’s support right now.“This is just the first of many charities that we want to help," Decker said. "When the Canadian containers get full, we’ll pick another charity the next time." "They [Decker and other planners] decided to set up a jar for a cause. Whatever the cause may be, somebody can go up and exchange the Canadian currency and then be able to donate it," said Leanne Gillespie, Northwest Savings Bank customer service representative and assistant manager of NSB's Bucktail branch. "We are collecting all through the month of August for the Humane Society, and then at that time, they'll continue to accept it and it will go to another cause. So anybody who wants to bring in any Canadian coin or currency that is just sitting around, if they're not planning another trip back up, is more than welcome to bring it in." Gillespie added that using American money for a donation is just fine, too. "We're also accepting any donations [that are] non-Canadian as well and we would make sure that the Humane Society would get that, also," Gillespie said. Pick up a copy of the Friday, July 27, 2012 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.