Pennies4Panzi Mystery Solved! Inspired PSU Altoona Student Behind Fund Raising Effort

For months now people have been asking me and Peter (co-founder and executive director of Panzi Foundation USA) if we knew about the P4P change jar by the cash register at a local King’s restaurant. No, we did not. But how wonderful that someone had taken such initiative! Then people would proceed to tell us how jammed full it was of money and we’d all wonder who was behind the effort. It was quite the mystery, until yesterday.

On the way to teach my 4 pm class, I spotted two students waiting for me in the hallway. Courtney Nagle, a freshman at PSU Altoona and a Duncansville, PA native, took a class with me in the fall but I had not seen or heard from her since. This meeting was a pleasant surprise!

All smiles, Courtney explained that my presentation in class about the crisis in Congo inspired her to take action and “make the P4P promise” on behalf of the kids who come to Panzi Hospital with their moms. She decorated a Pennies4Panzi 5-gallon(!) water jug and set it by the cash register to collect change. “So,” she said as she handed me a Ziploc bag filled with cash and coins, “it’s not much but I’m pretty sure there’s over $400 in there.” 

You know, this is the stuff that chokes me up every time. “Are you kidding?!,” I said. “This is FANTASTIC!” What a remarkable young woman. She heard one presentation and took the initiative to step outside herself in service to others – and with such humility. Thanks, Courtney. Your efforts will touch the lives of many children at Panzi hosptial. You are an inspiration for us all!  

About Lee Ann De Reus

Executive Director, DV LEAP; Co-founder, Panzi Foundation USA
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