Pigs can fly, swim, be robots or even ballerinas — and raise money to support mental health for children across Niagara.
Pathstone Foundation and the Meridian Credit Union are partnering for a second year on a Fill the Pig, Feel Better campaign, which encourages people to “adopt” a pig from any of the 17 Meridian branches in the region, and fill it with donations.
The piggy bank has long been associated with saving, says Kim Rossi, director of philanthropy for Pathstone, and even appeals to kids. The piggy banks at the credit unions are white, crying out to be painted, decorated, and filled with coins to help children and their families access counselling at any of Pathstone’s eight Hear & Now walk-in clinics across the region, including the one on Concession 6 in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
To help launch the campaign, Rossi asked NOTL artists Troy Miller and Tanya Peterson to paint one of the piggy banks. Miller’s has been named “Pigs can Fly,” and Peterson’s, which is now at the Niagara Image Gallery collecting donations, is “Pigs can Swim.”
Individuals are encouraged to pick up a piggy bank, fill it and return it when it’s full. The campaign goes until the end of February, says Rossi.
The banks can hold about $75 to $100 in coin.
Doug Martin, manager of the Meridian Credit Union Virgil branch, is a strong supporter of Pathstone and the work it does for kids, as well as of the people who run the agency, he says. He is glad to be helping out for the second year, and will be approaching local businesses to ask them to take a bank for donations.
A new initiative for this year’s campaign is a Paint the Pig Night at the Pen Centre. It will be held at the former Sear’s entrance, and a $25 donation includes a piggy bank and a seat at an art table to paint it, an opportunity that’s fun for all ages, says Rossi.
Every store in the Pen Centre will have a piggy bank for their customers to fill, she says, and there is also a virtual pig online to be fed, at www.pathstonementalhealth.ca/fillthepig. An automatic e-receipt will be provided.
This campaign is a great opportunity for all, even kids, to learn how good it feels to give back to the community, especially when it involves helping children, she says.
Last year’s campaign raised $50,000, but if the number of businesses involved continues to grow, Rossi says she wouldn’t be surprised to see it reach $100,000.