CHANGE DONATED FOR CHARITIES collected throughout Maine and New Hampshire will be counted at a Freeport event this month.

CHANGE DONATED FOR CHARITIES collected throughout Maine and New Hampshire will be counted at a Freeport event this month.


A ChangeFest event in Freeport will attempt to break a world record for coins collected for charity on Oct. 28 outside L.L.Bean.

Organizers are asking families to start gathering spare change now to bring to the festival at the end of month.

Created by World of Change, a new Maine-based nonprofit organization that converts spare change into social change for children and families, ChangeFest will feature six collection barrels for attendees to donate loose change to the cause of their choice. At the event, thousands of dollars in change already collected by World of Change at Maine schools, camps and community events since its launch in March will be displayed and counted.

Hosted by L.L.Bean, ChangeFest is set for noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28. A satellite event will also be held at L.L.Bean in Bangor from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with the change collected transported to Freeport in an L.L.Bean Bootmobile.

The Freeport event will feature live music, children’s activities, performances by Circus Maine and food vendors. Admission is free, but a donation of change is welcome.

Volunteer auditors with Baker Newman Noyes, a Portland, Maine-based New England accounting firm, will be on hand to count and record change totals.

“The spirit of ChangeFest is to show that good things can happen when people come together with a common purpose to make change, literally,” said Matt Hoidal of Falmouth, the founder and director of World of Change. “World of Change is off to a good start, but we’re just getting started. Change sits idly all around us and we’re committed to put it to good use.”

The six, 55-gallon collection drums at ChangeFest will be labeled for World of Change’s six different areas of support: housing, food security, education, financial literacy, health and wellness, and children’s play. All change collected will be distributed to organizations partnering with World of Change, Hoidal said.

World of Change’s nonprofit partners are: Central Asia Institute, Y of Southern Maine, Maine College Circle, Junior Achievement of Maine, Good Shepherd Food Bank, Maine Locker Project, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Jen’s Friends Cancer Foundation, Maine Children’s Cancer Program, Bet Elazraki Children’s Home, Furniture Friends, Comfort Cases, Circus Maine and Boys and Girls Clubs of Maine.

Many of those organizations will be represented at ChangeFest, where they will promote their good work and offer onsite volunteer projects for attendees. For example, Westbrook-based Furniture Friends will offer the opportunity for festival goers to help assemble and paint bookcases for those in need.

“Attendees not only will be bringing change to ChangeFest, but also making change that day,” Hoidal said.

World of Change has been collecting funds at summer camps, sports venues and businesses in Maine and New Hampshire. All change collected so far by World of Change will be on display at ChangeFest.

Students have been involved in collecting change for the event this past spring and summer and into the fall.

At Falmouth Elementary School, change has been collected in each of its 45 classrooms since the beginning of the school year and will be delivered to the Freeport event. Chebeague Island School, too, will be making a delivery of change. A senior at Waynflete School in Portland also has spearheaded an effort to enlist classmates in collecting change to donate at ChangeFest, Hoidal said.

The world record for the most money raised for charity in coins is $180,000, set in Lisbon, Portugal in 1998, according to World of Change.

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