Nickel and dime stuff
August 25, 2008 5:47 AM   Subscribe

I've got a quantity of US coins, maybe $30-40. I'm in the UK, specifically London, and not likely to be visiting the US again. How can I do some good with this money?

Banks won't convert foreign change. Does anyone know of a charity that might accept them, or something similar?
posted by Hogshead to Work & Money (9 answers total)
Next time you fly anywhere drop it all in the collection boxes you'll find in airports, most of them state a charity or two it goes to.

Or find a friend who works for a multinational company (such as the one I'm currently working for) they sometimes have a collection box for all the change their staff bring back.
posted by hardcode at 5:57 AM on August 25, 2008

I often find that when I go to museums, art galleries, zoos and other tourist attractions, they have those large donation containers where people can just drop money in. There are always dollars, euros and other currencies in there so if you would like to support one of these places you could always do that.
posted by triggerfinger at 6:00 AM on August 25, 2008

kids are usually fascinated by foreign currency. do you know any teachers who would like it to use as a learning tool?
posted by dogmom at 6:18 AM on August 25, 2008

For the right person, they make an excellent gift to give people when traveling. True story:
I used to live in Charlottesville, around 20 minutes away from Monticello. That's the building featured on the back of the nickel. When I explained to people where I was from, I would show them the back of the nickel, and say "My home city". They always found it very interesting and I gave them the nickel. Of course, this is before the dollar was totally worthless.
posted by Deathalicious at 6:23 AM on August 25, 2008

I'm on international flights all the time. All OneWorld airlines (BA included) will take change as a part of the Unicef Change for Good program. They won't care which country it's from.

I'll leave change during the flight if I'm not returning to a particular country in a reasonably close future.
posted by michswiss at 6:28 AM on August 25, 2008

Best answer: Some charities will take them without you having to go to an airport, here's Oxfam for instance. Sue Ryder Care have collection jars in their shops, and I'm sure others do to.

I'd be hesitant about about dropping foreign coins in the jars you see in museums and other places without checking with the staff first. I know it happens, but I'm not sure that they actually want it to happen.
posted by Helga-woo at 7:20 AM on August 25, 2008

seconding triggerfinger. Go to someplace which is touristy and accepts donations, like the British Museum, and dump it into the collection box.
posted by xbonesgt at 7:36 AM on August 25, 2008

My local Marks and Spencers has a Breast Cancer charity box for foreign coins at the Bureau de Change counter...
posted by hibbersk at 7:47 AM on August 25, 2008

Foreign change in museums does very little for the organization. On my last museum sponsored trip out of the country, I was handed a little envelope of Canadian coins with the message, "well, there's not much else we can do with it, have fun." It wasn't enough to have all that much fun and we're even in a state that borders Canada.
posted by advicepig at 1:49 PM on August 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

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