Canadian Woman Shares the Power of the Penny
The popular phrase, “A penny for your thoughts” has a whole new meaning for Edmonton native Petra Smoley—with one exception: Petra’s thoughts could be worth 125 million pennies.
Smoley, a long-time Avon District Sales Manager, was out on her daily walk when an idea popped into her head.
“I discovered some loose change in my pocket and thought about all the pennies that we have hanging around our house or car,” says Smoley. “We don’t even realize the value our change has until we toss it into a jar and watch it add up. Then I started thinking about what it would mean if every Canadian gathered up their pennies and loose change collectively, as a nation, to benefit a cause.”
Smoley decided that she needed to share her idea with someone.
“I immediately thought of Avon,” says Smoley. “As the company for women, I have always admired their long-standing commitment to the breast cancer cause, so this seemed like a natural fit.” Smoley told Avon executives her idea and was thrilled to recently learn that Avon’s Every Penny Counts campaign was inspired by her own personal reflections on that day.
This summer, the Avon Foundation for Women, in partnership with Scotiabank, will ask Canadians to roll their pennies to benefit Willow Breast Cancer Support Canada. The goal is to collect 125 million pennies or $1.25 million, in honour of Avon’s 125th anniversary.
From June through October (Breast Cancer awareness month), Canadians will be encouraged to dig to the bottom of their purses and pockets in search of all the loose change that gathers there. Pink coin wrappers will be distributed through Avon Brochures and will be available online to download at avoneverypennycounts.ca and willow.org.
Each wrapper will be identified with a special Scotiabank account number, 80002 06366 14, and when dropped off at any Scotiabank branch across Canada, 100 per cent of the money rolled will go directly to Willow Breast Cancer Support Canada.
“Through our Scotiabank Bright Future community giving program, we are proud to partner with Avon Canada to encourage Canadians to gather those often forgotten pennies that could truly be the agent of change in many lives,” said Anatol von Hahn, Group Head, Canadian Banking, Scotiabank. “The Every Penny Counts campaign is important because funds raised translate into much needed support for those affected by breast cancer.”
“For over 125 years, it has been Avon’s mission to improve the lives of women and their families,” says John Lin, President of Avon Canada. “The Every Penny Counts campaign is yet another testament to this, proving that every ‘one’ has the power to make a difference. Petra’s idea can have a grand effect on a national level—anyone, at any age can get involved.”
Like far too many Canadians, Smoley’s life has been touched by cancer. She lost her youngest sister Kathy to the disease 10 years ago.
“Everyone has a personal story about someone they have loved and lost,” says Smoley. “This isn’t about giving up. This is about finding a cure in our lifetime and offering support to those who are fighting right now. With the support of thousands of Avon Representatives, District Sales Managers and customers, I encourage every Canadian to join us, get on a roll and give their pennies a purpose.”
“Breast cancer affects everyone—the person diagnosed, their family, friends and caregivers,” says Virginia Yule, Executive Director, Willow Breast Cancer Support Canada. “Avon and Scotiabank recognize the value of Willow’s work, providing peer support and information today for those who cannot wait for tomorrow’s cure. We hope Canadians will roll up their small change to make a big change in the lives of everyone affected by breast cancer.”
To raise additional funds, Avon invites customers to Shop for the Cause. For every beauty product purchased from the Campaign 17, 18 and 19, 2011 brochures, Avon will donate a penny to the cause.
Avon Breast Cancer Crusade
To date, Avon Canada has raised and donated over $17 million to the breast cancer cause. Internationally, the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade has raised and awarded over $600 million in 50 countries for awareness and education; screening and diagnosis; access to treatment; support services; and scientific research.
Avon is the world’s largest direct seller, marketing to women in more than 100 countries through 5.5 million independent Avon Sales Representatives. Avon’s product line includes beauty products, fashion jewellery and apparel, and features such well-recognized brand names as Avon Color, Anew, Skin So Soft, Advance Techniques, Avon Naturals, and mark. Learn more about Avon and its products at http://www.avon.ca/.
Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad, through our global philanthropic program, Scotiabank Bright Future. Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for our charitable donations and philanthropic activities, Scotiabank has provided on average approximately $44 million annually to community causes around the world over each of the last five years. Visit us at http://www.scotiabank.com/.
About Willow Breast Cancer Support Canada
Willow Breast Cancer Support Canada, founded in 1994, is a national not-for-profit breast cancer organization that provides peer support and information today for those who cannot wait for tomorrow’s cure. From the individual diagnosed, to their family and caregivers, Willow makes sure no one needs to face breast cancer alone. For more information please visit http://www.willow.org/.
For further information:
Hill & Knowlton: Shannon Mitchell, Media Relations, 647-210-7058 or 416-413-4642 [email protected]
Avon: Elizabeth Munro, Avon Canada, Media Relations, 514-630-8305
Scotiabank: Deborah Clark, Scotiabank, Media Communications, 416-933-0646, [email protected]
Willow Breast Cancer Support Canada: Shana Coppen, 416-778-6314,