change for good.

On our last day in Paris, we did our best to spend the rest of the cash we had on hand. Luckily, Charles de Gaulle Airport was nice enough to help us out by charging an arm and a leg for our breakfast and a souvenir magnet. Airports are considerate like that. We got on the plain back home with pockets of change.

As we were nearing New York, an announcement was made that the stewardesses would be collecting our spare foreign cash for UNICEF. Josh and I pooled our change and then I selected the most interesting coin in each denomination to keep as a souvenir (Euros have different countries on each piece, sorta like the state quarters). I have an old wooden pencil box once owned by my Uncle Johnny where I keep foreign currency picked up on trips. Sorry, UNICEF, my little box doesn't have any euros, so the children will just have to do without these few coins. Way to make me feel like a jerk, UNICEF, just because I can afford to spend two weeks in France while children all over the world die of preventable and treatable diseases.

Even so, we ended up handing in a few euros worth in change as the collection bags jingled their way up the aisle. I imagine they really rake in the dough this way. As much as the airports do their job to take every last cent, people end up with pockets of change that they can't spend at home but isn't enough to exchange. According to the website, this program was started in 1987, but this was the first time I'd ever heard of it. I think it's absolutely brilliant. It makes it easy and convenient to give, and it even sort of seems like they're doing you a favor by taking some of that useless coinage off your hands. Well done.

No comments: