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Uxbridge teen saves enough pennies to build a house for charity

Amanda Ferguson | posted Friday, Jan 13th, 2017

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It’s enough pennies that if stacked up would stand the height of 31 CN Towers or weigh as much as five fully-grown African elephants.

An Uxbridge teen has amassed just that – 10 million pennies – or $100,000 for Habitat for Humanity.

“When I started out, I was 11 years old, so I really didn’t know how much money that was,” Josh Morrison said.

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The 15-year-old says he was inspired after he walked into a Habitat for Humanity ReStore with his dad who was looking to buy a sink. Josh says a blue display toilet with pennies inside the bowl grabbed his attention. It was part of the non-profit organization’s campaign to collect 10 million pennies to help pay for one of their homes. Josh decided to make it his own personal mission.

“I came into ReStore and I saw they were collecting the money — $100,000, 10-million pennies — and I just felt I was supposed to help out with that.”

Habitat for Humanity Durham CEO Mary Bone said she is blown away by the teen’s drive and dedication. Josh lives by the saying, “Hard is not a synonym for impossible.”

“Yeah, I would tell you it might be impossible, but he tricked me,” Bone laughs.

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Some of the funds raised were not all in coin form. Eventually corporations came forward with cheques to help the teen reach his goal.

“It is overwhelming,” Josh’s father Greg Morrison said. “His mother and I are very proud of him … Obviously, the goal was amazing, but the determination and not quitting is something we’re very proud of for sure.”

The money raised by Josh will go towards one of a number of townhomes currently being built in Oshawa. The organization is planning to break ground on Josh’s penny house this summer and hopes to hand over the keys to a deserving family by Christmas 2017.

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