Throughout our lives, it’s not uncommon for each of us to have our own collections. Consider the scenario where you decided to gather all the pennies you could find for an entire month. How many pennies do you think you would have accumulated? Now, imagine extending this collection period to an entire year. Lastly, picture the remarkable outcome if you were to collect pennies diligently for a whopping 45 years.
This story revolves around Otha Anders, a dedicated teacher hailing from Louisiana, who astonishingly collected pennies for a remarkable span of 45 years. His intention behind this endeavor was not to amass wealth but simply because he enjoyed doing so.
Even when the government initiated a program that paid $125 for every $100 worth of pennies turned in, Anders remained uninterested. He cherished his collection, viewing it as an opportunity to offer a prayer. In his own words to ABC News, Anders expressed, “If I would spot a penny while gassing up, on the ground, or in a store, it served as a reminder for me to pause and say a prayer. I never failed to do that, which is why these pennies held immense value for me.”
Notably, Anders never accepted pennies as gifts from anyone, including his wife and children, without compensating them. He wanted the inner satisfaction of knowing that he and God had acquired this collection together. This practice of stopping and saying a prayer whenever he spotted a penny became increasingly significant to Anders over time. He observed that on days when he failed to appreciate what he had, a penny would unexpectedly come into his view, reminding him to be grateful. As he puts it, “I became convinced that stumbling upon a lost or dropped penny was an additional God-given incentive to remind me to always be thankful. There have been days where I neglected to pray, and more often than not, a lost or dropped penny would appear to jog my memory.”
Anders stored his collected coins in large water jugs, which he diligently filled. Originally, his goal was to fill five gigantic water jugs, but once he achieved that milestone, he felt compelled to continue. The urge to keep going was so strong that he realized he had to go to the bank and turn them in; otherwise, he would never stop. When he finally visited the bank, he had filled an astonishing 15 five-gallon jugs.
His commitment and determination to this unique practice are truly remarkable.