Coins For a Cause

Coins For a CauseWhoever Said Pennies Can’t Make Change Has Obviously Never Been to Destin Commons

By Ashley Kahn

Since the shopping center opened in 2003, Destin Commons has worked to change lives in the Emerald Coast area through Coins For a Cause, a self-subsidized philanthropic program utilizing coins collected from parking meters along the Main Street of Destin Commons. Five-dollar donation “parking ticket” fees also go toward the fund.

The company’s philosophy is that it must play a major role and make a positive difference in the community it serves. And the long list of Coins For a Cause donation recipients proves Destin Commons makes a positive impact in many sectors — from the arts to health care to education. Organizations the program has touched include the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the Girl Scouts of Northwest Florida, Habitat for Humanity,

St. Mary’s Bright Stars and Locks of Love.

“Destin Commons’ annual Coins For a Cause contribution to help fund our children’s All Kinds of Art initiative has been invaluable,” says Leah McGill, education director of the Mattie Kelley Arts Foundation.

Loose change adds up. Hundreds of thousands of dollars of that loose change has been donated to local organizations and charities. And area partners are grateful for the innovative program’s contributions.

“We are so appreciative of our relationship with Destin Commons,” says Kim Henderson, area manager for the Ronald McDonald House of Northwest Florida in Okaloosa and Walton counties. “Not only have they been instrumental in kicking off our capital campaign to build a larger house, but their Coins For a Cause program has assisted us in funding over the years. They have further stepped up to the plate to host several major fundraising events at the center. We could not ask for a better community partner.”

Photos of donation recipients can be viewed at, where shoppers are educated on the program’s many touch points, such as the parking meter signs, parking “tickets” and center signage.

Organizations may be considered for Coins For a Cause donations by way of e-mail to Include the name of the organization, contact name and e-mail address, telephone number and detailed information about the organization’s efforts and needs.

Even the smallest gift can make an enormous difference.