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A Mile of Change event to benefit UNICEF comes up short

Matt Carissimi / Lantern photographer

Students working with UNICEF-OSU were on the Oval seeking change Wednesday, but they weren’t rallying or displaying picket signs. They wanted pocket change.

The student organization sponsored A Mile of Change, an attempt to collect enough donations of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters to stretch a mile on the Oval. By the end of the day, the coins collected measured about 300 feet, less than one-fifth of a mile.

The organization is hoping to have raised between $300 and $500, but the donations will not be counted until Friday, said Ariana Hoet, a fourth-year in psychology and chair of UNICEF-OSU.

The fundraiser benefited UNICEF, an international charitable organization focusing on child welfare, education and gender equality worldwide, according to its website.

“We raise money for kids around the world that don’t have the things that we have, like clean water, food, homes, vaccinations,” said Sam Pudelski, a third-year in marketing and director of graphics for UNICEF-OSU. “You name it, UNICEF pretty much does it.”

The volunteers hoped only asking for small change would spur more donations from students.

“We’re very excited about this event because we know that we’re all college students and we can’t expect a huge donation, but if we have a mile of … any coins that people have, it will add up to a lot,” Hoet said.

Although one or two quarters seems like pocket change to many, a mile of quarters equals $17,000, Hoet said.

Though UNICEF-OSU did not hit the mile mark, the ultimate goal for the group provides continued motivation, Hoet said.

“Every day, 22,000 children are dying from a preventable cause,” Hoet said. “They don’t get enough food, clean water or something as simple as a five-cent vaccine. UNICEF believes that number can and will be zero.” 

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