Coins for Lent 2023
By Kevin Johnson
During Lent, many of us are reminded once again to examine our lifestyles and ask, "What can we do for others?" Part of faith formation at any age is compassion and offering a serving heart to our neighbors. These past few years have been challenging when trying to find ways to serve our neighbors while remaining physically distant. This time has also reminded us that we need to demonstrate compassion to others now more than ever. Lent is a good time to commit to giving money to a project that helps those in need. One way to involve the whole family is to collect coins during the season of Lent and then following Easter, donate the money. Follow our Coins for Lent Giving Calendar as a guide.
If you decide to do this as a family or as a congregation, first determine where you would like your money to go. Regardless of their age, let everyone have a voice. Maybe you have a community food bank that could use funds to purchase food for the hungry. Perhaps you could contribute to a larger project beyond your local community.
Heifer International is an agency that addresses needs around the world and helps families to become self-sufficient in sustainable ways. The United Methodist Church and Heifer International share a vision of ending hunger and poverty. You can find out more about Heifer International at heifer.org. You may know of another project to which you would like to give your money. Click here to visit the UMC General Board of Global Missions website to find other Advance mission opportunities to donate money.. Ask within your United Methodist Annual Conference or district to find other local projects you can also help to support. Select an agency that would appreciate your contribution.
Once you have selected a project, decide what coins you want to collect. You may want to contribute a quarter for every item on the giving calendar. You may want to simply collect loose change and give whatever coins you have for each item.
Now make a container to collect the money. Use a plastic tub, jar, or a coin bank that you aren’t currently using in your home. Decorate it and place it where the entire family can see it (and contribute to it).
Items on the daily guide will remind us of all we have and how little others may have. Each Sunday, pray as a family for the project and the people who will benefit from your gifts. Our giving begins on Ash Wednesday and concludes with Holy Saturday. During Lent, Sundays are for worship and praise to God and are reflected with a weekly day of prayer.
- Ash Wednesday – February 22: A coin for every lamp
- February 23: A coin for every light switch
- February 24: A coin for every candle
- February 25: A coin for every flashlight (Include the one on your smartphone.)
- February 26: Pray today, thanking God for the gift of light. Pray for those who live in darkness.
- February 27: A coin for every box of cereal
- February 28: A coin for every can of soup
- March 1: A coin for every type of bread
- March 2: A coin for every jar of jelly
- March 3: A coin for every bottle of salad dressing
- March 4: A coin for every jar of peanut butter
- March 5: Pray today, thanking God for the food you enjoy. Pray for those who have no food this day.
- March 6: A coin for every ball cap or hat
- March 7: A coin for every pair of shoes
- March 8: A coin for every pair of jeans or pants
- March 9: A coin for every coat
- March 10: A coin for every t-shirt
- March 11: A coin for every sweatshirt
- March 12: Pray today, thanking God for clothing that protects you from the elements. Pray for those who lack clothing to keep them warm and dry.
- March 13: A coin for every ball or piece of athletic equipment
- March 14: A coin for every electronic video game
- March 15: A coin for every smart device (phones, tablets, etc.)
- March 16: A coin for every television
- March 17: A coin for every doll or stuffed animal
- March 18: A coin for every board or card game
- March 19: Pray today, thanking God for how you can enjoy entertainment in your home. Pray for those who would be grateful for just one of these items.
- March 20: A coin for every box of Band-Aids®
- March 21: A coin for every bottle of vitamins
- March 22: A coin for every box of tissues
- March 23: A coin for every bottle of hand sanitizer.
- March 24: A coin for every toothbrush and tube of toothpaste
- March 25: A coin for every cough drop found in your house.
- March 26: Pray today, thanking God for your health. Pray for those who are sick.
- March 27: A coin for every room in your home
- March 28: A coin for every electrical outlet in your home
- March 29: A coin for every chair in your home
- March 30: A coin for every desk in your home (virtual work/school)
- March 31: A coin for every bathroom
- April 1: A coin for every bed
- April 2: (Palm Sunday): Pray today, thanking God for shelter. Pray for those who have no place to sleep at night.
- April 3: A coin for every Bible
- April 4: A coin for every book of hymns or sacred songs in your home
- April 5: A coin for every cross in your home
- April 6: A coin for every prayer you say today
- April 7: A coin for every story of Jesus you can tell
- April 8: A coin for every person in your family
- Easter Sunday – April 9: Pray, thanking God for Jesus and for the many ways we can gather and worship God. Pray for those who will receive the coins collected that they would see God’s presence through them.
Rev. Kevin Johnson is the Director, Children’s Ministries for Congregational Vitality & Intentional Discipleship at Discipleship Ministries. Kevin’s hero Fred Rogers suggests that we, “listen to the children, learn about them, learn from them. Think of the children first.” This quote defines Rev. Kev’s approach to ministry. Kevin, an ordained elder of the Kentucky Annual Conference, has over fifteen years of ministry experience in which he has thought of the children first. Prior to ministry, Kevin worked with children in the hospital setting and in group homes for emotionally and physically abused children.