A small story – a photo and a blurb, really – from the Stateman’s “Community News” sections arrived on the RecognizeGood desk last week during all the hubbub of our 11th Annual Ethics in Business & Community Awards. A student at Dripping Springs High School, named Cambria Sawyer, had collected $300.00 and planned to give the money to an orphanage in Mexico that she’d visited as a younger child. The catch? The money was entirely made up of pennies! That’s right, Cambria had collected about thirty THOUSAND pennies. What’s more, she’d displayed them – all of them – in a classroom at Dripping Springs High, encouraging other students to drop by and add to the incredible pile of pennies. The black-and-white newspaper photo showed Cambria sitting cross-legged right in the middle of the pile of pennies, playfully tossing handfuls into the air with a huge smile.
The story reminded us of an anecdote shared by Luci Baines Johnson at our April Legends ceremony – she was so inspired by the efforts and attitude of April Legend Erin Kiltz, that she asked herself: “Am I doing EVERYTHING I can do?” Cambria’s story embodies that exact sentiment – as simple as it might be to simply write a big check to the orphanage in Mexico, this high school student wasn’t in a position to do the simple thing! She didn’t have a lot of extra money. What she did have was pennies.