Ana’s Penny Drive Story



Dear Reader,

Thank you so much for stopping by. My name is Ana, and as you already know, I have the opportunity to attend my absolute DREAM school. I was accepted a few weeks ago and have since learned that I won’t receive enough financial aid to cover all my expenses. I have been desperately searching for scholarships and applied to the few for which I qualify. Unfortunately, there just aren’t many.

I’m from a small town in Louisiana and have worked tirelessly academically to gain acceptance into a good program. Now I finally have a chance to leave my home state.

The penny drive idea took root while I was researching scholarships. I happened upon the real-life story of Mike Hayes, a college student who solicited pennies for tuition back in the 80s. Mike was successful, and received enough pennies to cover expenses. I’m hoping I’ll have the same luck.

If you don’t mind, it would mean the world to me if you took the time right now to send me a penny. Each one truly helps.Ā  I believe in myself enough to reach my goal of raising $30,000; I know I can do it with your help. So please, with a penny, an envelope, and a stamp you can make an huge difference in the life of someone who gives her all to others.

Penny Drive

PO Box 1482

Gretna, LA, USA 70053-1482

You have my deepest gratitude. Truly, you do!

Ps. Check out the “updates” tab to view my progress.

With a determined spirit,



13 thoughts on “Ana’s Penny Drive Story

    • I know šŸ˜¦
      And I know not everyone has stamps just laying around.
      But I knew that if I set up a GoFundMe page or PayPal account that people may feel obligated to donate more. Plus who would go through the trouble of entering their credit card info just to donate one penny? I thought this was a minimally-invasive fundraiser and I hope others think so too.

  1. Ana,

    This is a novel concept, it really is, but I’ve been on at least two discussion boards (reddit and Post Secret are the ones coming to mind first), and many agree on the following:

    1. Give us a status bar of how much you’ve collected for school so far.

    2. Get PayPal. When Mike did the project initially, he didn’t have the outreach or capacity to today’s technology like you do. If you really want to fund this dream, get an account, send me a link, and I’ll be the first to donate.

    3. What is the name of the dream school? Many of us in the community have had to find creative ways to finance or academic dreams as well. With this, we have made many mistakes, learned valuable lessons, an have met the right people at college who were able to help us find a way.

    4. Please open yourself up to all avenues. If this is your dream then don’t feel worried about what people think, dream big and get your money. Many of us have money but no time or extra resources to mail pennies. Like any successful funding drive, you’ll need more than pennies for college. You don’t only need the support that jingles, you need the support that folds.

    5. Breathe. In summary, I know that I love the creative aspect of the project and wish to see you succeed. How about upgrading right about now. Save the pennies for books and supplies. Open up a PayPal and let the community know your progress. Your dreams are important. Please, ask me any questions and I’ll be happy to help. I was once I. Your shoes not long ago. Upgrade your donation capabilities to get your dreams on track for reality.

    • Thanks, SocialWorker!

      1. So far I’ve collected $5.31. I’ll update the total each week in a new post
      2. I’ve been struggling with the PayPal issue. I know I would be a lot better off and more successful in my fundraising efforts if I added this feature. However, I really want to preserve the essence and integrity of Mike’s idea. I’ll see what others think, and thank you for your opinion.
      3. My school is Domus Adademy in Milan, Italy. It’s the only school that offers my program, Business Design. Things would be a whole lot easier if my school were located in the States, but I’m going to work as hard as I can to make studying abroad a reality for me.
      4. I love that last line!
      5. Thank you! This project started out as a secret, so I had no support at first and was a nervous wreck. This week I opened up to friends and family, and have been feeling much better. Thanks again for your comments and suggestions.

      Take care,

    • Two more things:

      1. Would you mind sharing the link where I can view the discussion boards you mentioned?
      2. Would you please help me spread the word about my campaign to your friends, family and colleagues?

    • Hi Don!

      I take it you read my story in The Advocate. Thank you!

      Regarding the upcoming deadline, I’m about halfway there with personal savings, and I have a few large penny donations coming in this week!

      I’m working hard behind the scenes to make sure these pennies keep rolling in!

      Thanks so much for your support!!


  2. Ana,

    Go after your dreams, you are an inspiration to all of us. Higher education sometimes feels out of reach-but I know you’ll make it!

  3. There are other ways to raise money for school. You could work a job or two and save for a few years. There are other causes people can be donating to. People can be donating to those who really do need to money. There are people fighting cancer and going hungry everyday in this world. This plan does not seem very logical. You need to provide us with more information on where you want to go to school and a deadline so we know when you would be starting. The information you provide is vague and with the lack of information provided, it makes me a little skeptical.

    • Hi Craig,

      Thanks for your comments. You’re totally right about some issues you mentioned. I can pick up another job, but it’s just not feasible for me to save $30,000 any time soon. I’ve looked into scholarships and loans, but either my school was not eligible for them or the application deadline was past the date I would need to pay. Classes begin soon, on Feb 25; I found out I was accepted last September.

      I know there are more worthy causes to which people can donate, but that’s why I’m only asking for one penny. However, I will ask you to please take a look at my latest post on the “updates” tab; in the article I talk about creating “Pennies for Schools.” It will be a benefit corporation to aid underperforming Louisiana public schools. With that, an investment in me is an investment in something far greater.

      You’re right about this page being vague. It hasn’t been updated since I created this site. When I first started this project, part of me didn’t think I’d get this far. Plus, I tend to shirk the spotlight, so opening up has been tough. But thanks for the push. Please tell me the kinds of things you’d like to know. In the meantime I’ll work on rethinking this section.

      Thanks again šŸ™‚

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