Help raise cash for sick kids

The annual Pièces Jaunes campaign opens today, aiming to raise millions to improve the lives of children in hospital

8 January 2014

A NATIONAL campaign to collect money to help sick children starts today – Opération Pièces Jaunes.

The event, which aims to raise cash to fund projects across France, involves collecting cardboard coin banks from post offices, and dropping them back at the end of the fundraising period.

However, there are various other ways to donate, including paying online. SFR mobile phone customers will also be invited to make a payment of €1 by text.

The organisers, Fondation Hôpitaux de Paris-Hôpitaux de France, say it is about “collecting those little coins that sometimes take up space in grown ups’ wallets” and it was originally named because the lesser-value franc coins were yellow. Today all euro coins have yellow on them apart from the smallest, which are brown.

This year’s fundraiser is opened officially today by foundation chairwoman Bernadette Chirac at the Necker-CHU children’s hospital in Paris, along with celebrities including footballer Christian Karembeu and Olympic judo gold medallist David Douillet.

One million tirelires (cardboard coin banks) are available in post offices, for use at home or work, and children are encouraged to get involved to help their peers who are ill.

So far around 8,000 projects funded have helped children and teenagers in 444 towns, ranging from building facilities enabling parents to stay in hospital with their children; educational and leisure facilities; funding painkiller pumps; decorating hospitals in fun, colourful ways and building maisons des adolescents where teens can have counselling and practical help with problems.

More details on donating can be found here: http://www.fondationhopitaux.fr/nous-soutenir/differents-modes-de-don/

In 2013 180 tons of coins were collected, up 25% on 2012, and the tally is still being made by Banque de France. In 2012, €8.8 million was raised for the campaign, including gifts and legacies during the year, which was up €2.7 million on the previous year.

Photo: www.fotolia.com/ nyul

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