Knottsville man filling 55-gallon drum with pennies for family in need

July 11, 2020 | 12:07 am

Updated July 10, 2020 | 11:48 pm

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Knottsville native Roger Morris hopes to fill a 55-gallon drum with pennies and spare change. His campaign, titled ‘Pennies for a Purpose,’ will benefit the family of Blaine Roberts, a young boy with special needs in the community.

The idea came to Morris after years of helping a friend collect can tabs for the Ronald McDonald House. Their goal was always to fill a 55-gallon drum.

“I thought to myself, why couldn’t I do pennies?” he said. “Everyone is always throwing their pennies in a drawer or putting them to the side somewhere. We have eight gallons of pennies so far.”


Blaine is an incoming kindergarten student at Country Heights Elementary School who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and he often travels out of state for medical assistance. His mother Beth is joyfully overwhelmed by the outpour of support by the community.

“We are completely floored by the support we are receiving,” she said. “We want to be there for our son and help him to find the best possible outcomes in life.”

Philanthropy runs deep in the Whitesville and Knottsville communities, and the Morris family plays a major role in that. Roger’s brother Jerry started the Angels for Ashley organization that raises money for local and national charities, primarily through cooking and selling meat. 

“I’ve helped Jerry cook for all kinds of different things,” Roger said. “The communities are always very generous — everyone’s always willing to pitch in. 

For those interested in helping Morris fill his 55-gallon drum, pennies and spare change can be dropped off at the Whitesville Mercantile, Reid’s Orchard in Owensboro and Doodlebug’s Grocery in Knottsville.

“This family is very grateful for the help,” Morris said. “Giving runs in our family. We aren’t in it for recognition, we just like helping people.”

Beth chronicles Blaine’s journey on her blog. The family operates under the phrase ‘it takes a village,’ and they are ecstatic to hear that Morris wants to join their village.

“I barely know him, so I really had to collect myself when I heard that he wanted to help,” Roberts said. “It brings me to tears that someone is willing to go out of their way to help someone they barely know. We welcome him to our village with open arms.”

July 11, 2020 | 12:07 am

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