Less than a week after trick-or-treating, Cameron Daniels is dumping his stash. It is not a candy collection you might expect, however. You won't find Snickers bars, Skittles or suckers in his Halloween bucket (he actually has a half-dozen buckets). But he did collect something by the thousands in his Gardnerville community - coins!
Let's take you back to the night of Halloween. When Cameron knocked on the door, he'd say, "Trick-or-treat! Would you like to donate anything to this family? They were in a horrible car crash a couple weeks ago and I just wanted to do something for them." With a jug in his hand that displayed a beautiful picture of the Hounsell Family, Cameron asked for pennies this holiday. He is friends with one of the children involved in a tragic accident last month. While the four children involved survived the car crash, Mark and Jeanne Hounsell did not. Mark and Jeanne had two children together and the older two boys are Mark's from a previous marriage. Cameron is friends with one of them - Lance; they have known each other since they were in kindergarten. The 11-year-old gives Lance credit for his love for football. "All of a sudden I heard that he got into a crash and I was just heart-broken. And I couldn't do anything but cry all day." But then, Cameron came up with a unique idea to help. "Why not trick-or-treat for pennies this year?" He and his mom threw out the idea on social media. Then Cameron changed into, well, change. His mom made him a giant penny costume. Within minutes Facebook fans begged "The Penny Kid", as he's now referred, to knock on their doors. "I had a lot of people go, 'Oh, it's the penny kid! They'd run over to me and give me money."
The money poured in, as did the compliments. "Good job, way to go young man, very generous of you." Cameron's Mom, Rebecca thinks the world of her son, too. "I really am truly proud of who he is and what a kind and generous heart he has." But Cameron sees this as just a small way to give back to Lance, who's been a good friend. "He helped me through a lot, like bullying.”
When we met up with Cameron a few days after Halloween, he took us to Greater Nevada Credit Union to count all the coins. There were literally thousands; more than 19,000 pennies actually. "The total of all the coins is 398.72!" Add to that all the cash donations he received, and Cameron's collected $758.23! The donations are still coming in!
Cameron has jars set up at a few physical locations right now in the Carson City/Minden/Gardnerville area. If you would like to help:
-Subway, Topsy Lane, Carson City
-Play It Again Sports, Topsy Lane, Carson City
-Cheshire Antiques, Gardnerville
-Kid Pix, Gardnerville
-Testa Motorsports, Gardnerville
-Johnson Lane General Store, Minden
Cameron's Mom also set up a Paypal account to add to the donations: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Plus, you can still make a donation via the Hounsell Family GoFundMe account: https://www.gofundme.com/HounsellChildren.