Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Penny for Your Thoughts Book Project to Support Food Banks

I recently signed up to create a Penny for Your Thoughts book for the Penny Experiment project. What’s the Penny Experiment? Here’s how founder Jeffrey Strain describes it:

“On November 24, 2009, while walking to the local coffee shop, I spotted a penny on the sidewalk near a group of shops. I stopped, bent down and picked it up. As I did, a group of teenagers that was standing nearby watching me started to snicker.

“Their implication was clear. They believed that the penny was worthless and I was foolish for picking it up. I, on the other hand, saw things a bit differently. I have always picked up coins, but their reaction got me thinking. What is a penny really worth? What can one achieve when starting with only a penny?

“As I thought about this, I became more convinced that there is value beyond what most people see in the money that is lying on the ground. I believe there is enough value in that penny that it can ultimately help a large number of people. This is my journey as I try to see if I’m correct by turning that ‘worthless’ penny into $1,000,000 of food for local food banks.

“As I begin this journey, I’m not exactly sure how I am going to achieve this goal. That is part of what should make this journey interesting to follow. I also hope that the journey ultimately shows that one person with one penny and a bit of determination can make a difference. I hope that you will join me on this journey and it will inspire you to try and do the same…”

One way in which Jeffrey is going to reach his goal is through launching 100 “Penny for Your Thoughts” books into the world. Volunteers, such as myself, start with a blank book, and write something special inside it. Then they pass it on to another person, who does the same. That person passes it on again, and so on and so on, until the book is full. When it’s done, it is sent back to Jeffrey, who will scan pages to show on his website ( and then he’ll sell the actual book. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to buy food for food banks!

Since I’m a writer, I got the idea to send my book to other writers so we can fill the book with writing advice, inspirational quotes, etc. Jeffrey encourages “book launchers” to get creative in decorating their books, but since I have no artistic talent, I purchased a beautiful journal with author Charlotte Brontë’s signature embossed on it, along with an excerpt from her famous novel, Jane Eyre, reproduced in her own handwriting. Here’s a picture of the book.

The spine and back of the book have gorgeous decorative embossing, and the back cover says:

Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855)
Jane Eyre – 1847

Here’s a photo of the back:

Inside, I’m going to instruct writers to include their favorite inspirational quotes, their best advice to budding writers, their signature, and anything else they’d like to include for those who love to write or read books!

On my page, I’m going to include my favorite “writer’s quotes”:

A woman’s destiny, they say, is not fulfilled until she holds in her arms her own little book.—Caroline Mytinger, Headhunting in the Solomon Islands, August 18, 1942

I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.
—Mary Flannery O’Connor

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, “I used everything you gave me.”―Erma Bombeck

My Penny for Your Thoughts book has been assigned #6 out of 100! If you’d like to launch your own book as part of the Penny Experiment to raise money for food banks, just click HERE to get details. Jeffrey has several other projects going, as well, so I encourage you to visit to see the other exciting ways in which money is being raised. You can also follow this project on Twitter at

I’m excited to be a part of this inspirational project. Kudos to Jeffrey Strain for starting the Penny Experiment to help the hungry. Please spread the word. I hope it’s a huge success!


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