World of Change hopes to change the world, a few cents at a time

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FREEPORT — A new nonprofit that converts spare change into social change is hoping to set a world record for coins collected for charity.

The final collection for the first ChangeFest will be Saturday, Oct. 28, from noon-6 p.m. at L.L. Bean, where six, 55-gallon collection barrels will be situated for attendees to donate loose change to a cause of their choice: housing, food security, education, financial literacy, children’s play, and health and wellness.

A satellite event will be held at the L.L. Bean store in Bangor from noon-2 p.m., with change collected transported to Freeport in an L.L.Bean Bootmobile. 

All of the change collected will be distributed by the new organization, World of Change, to its partner organizations.

The world record currently stands at $180,000 raised for charity in coins, set in Lisbon, Portugal in 1998, according to World of Change, which has raised thousands of dollars from schools, camps, and community organizations since the event launched in March.

Since September, change has been collected in each of Falmouth Elementary School’s 45 classrooms; by Chebeague Island School’s 25 pre-k through fifth-grade students, and at Waynflete School in Portland, led by junior Georgia Goodman, of Cumberland. 

According to World of Change’s website, an estimated $10 billion in loose change sits idly in American households – an average of $90 per household not being put to use. Founder and Director Matt Hoidal, of Falmouth, said World of Change is committed to putting that collective capacity to good use. 

“The spirit of ChangeFest is to show that good things can happen when people come together with a common purpose to make change, literally,” Hoidal said in a news release. “Attendees not only will be bringing change to ChangeFest, but also making change that day.”

Pre-K through fifth-grade students from Chebeague Island School collect spare change to donate to the first ChangeFest, to be held Oct. 28 in Freeport.