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Loose change turns into big donation for Monroe schools
Elementary students enter ballots to guess the amount of money that was in a jug of coins donated to the Monroe school district by an anonymous couple last month. The donors expressed wishes that the money be used to benefit Monroe elementary schools. (Photo supplied)
MONROE - That loose change can really add up.

About a month ago, an anonymous couple donated to the Monroe school district a water jug full of change that they had accumulated over more than a decade.

The two Monroe residents donated the 5-gallon jug of change on April 5. The Wisconsin Community Bank tallied the change and declared the total to be $3,080.60.

The donors, a couple who said they preferred to remain anonymous, said they hoped the donation would inspire people by showing that even small amounts of change can add together to make a difference.

One of the donors said he had the jug for more than 30 years and had deposited change in it periodically throughout the years.

"Sometimes life happened, so I tapped back into it," he said.

But as he grew older, he said, he stopped needing to take money back from the jug and began filling it again in earnest with his wife. After about 12 years, the jug was filled to the brim and the couple decided to donate it to the school district.

Terri Montgomery, director of curriculum and instruction for the district, said the donors specified that the money be used for Monroe's elementary schools, but she said the district has not yet decided how best to use the money.

After the money was tallied, Montgomery said, elementary students participated in a contest to guess how much money was in the jug, with the closest guess earning a small prize.

In the meantime, the donors haven't changed their ways: They said they were going to start saving change all over again.