Little things add up. That’s the philosophy and the success behind Coins for a Cure. When Nancy Riley’s son Alex was diagnosed with T1D while in second grade, the family wanted to do all they could to help find a cure. Nancy, together with district nurse Sharon Dodson, founded Coins for a Cure at Alex’s school to help raise funds for the JDRF Walk. They believed that if students were asked to bring in spare change from home, the collection cups in each classroom would fill up quickly. The containers overflowed and then some. Coins for a Cure now educates students in over 24 schools within the San Ramon Valley Unified School District (SRVUSD) about T1D and raises funds for research to support the over 90 students currently living with T1D. Since 2002, Coins for a Cure has raised over $150,000 for the JDRF Walk.
The fundraiser runs for two weeks in late September/early October. Each school has a coordinator who distributes collection cups and collects the coins at the end of the drive.The coins are then bagged and processed. In the early days, Nancy, Sharon, and their team of helpers wrapped all of the coins themselves. Now Brinks of Alameda processes over 250,000 coins each year for free.
“We believe that every penny raised can make a difference in finding a cure for T1D,” says Nancy. “A cure would mean that no child would have to test her blood sugar in the classroom before joining her classmates at recess or count carbs at lunch. A cure would mean that children would never again be hospitalized or miss a day from school because of complications from T1D.”
Nancy is an active and energetic volunteer at JDRF Bay Area. In addition to her annual Coins for Cure fundraiser, she has served as Chair of the JDRF Pixar Gala and Hope Gala, and as various committee roles for Summer Classic and Walk.
Alex has just completed his sophomore year at the University of Oregon where he is studying Business and is the captain of his club soccer team.