Traveling & Giving: Coins to kids

By Dick Fee
This item appears on page 53 of the April 2014 issue.

My wife, Ginny, and I have traveled throughout Europe via Grand Circle Travel (Boston, MA; 800/221-2610). The Grand Circle Foundation funds, in part, many programs around the world, including a number involving upgraded educational opportunities for children, especially in the younger grades. As a longtime coin collector, I’ve used the 50 State Quarters® Program coin series for a wonderful impact on these children. 

I select state coins with special images that would appeal: New York’s Statue of Liberty; Massachusetts with the Minute Man; the New Jersey quarter with Washington crossing the Delaware; Ohio’s John Glenn, representing our space program, etc.

I only use quarters that are in excellent condition, and I place each in a protective holder with a short comment, printed carefully. Usually, I offer the coins to the teacher(s) for general distribution to the children, suggesting the remainder be given for children’s special efforts or excellent scholarship.

On our 2008 “Russian Waterways” trip with Grand Circle Travel, we had the opportunity to meet a cosmonaut who had just returned from spending six months on the space station. He spoke English very well and mentioned that his two children always asked him for coins from countries he had visited. 

That day, by pure accident, I had two packages of five coins, all different. I offered these to the cosmonaut and his face lit up. He said he would be a hero that evening when he went home.


Sun City Center, FL