Roots of Peace
Peace and Prosperity is Our Product


To restore economic vitality by creating livelihood opportunities in post-conflict regions.

About the Penny Campaign

Co-founder Kyleigh Kühn with Croatian children on school


Our Roots of Peace Penny Campaign is an annual humanitarian program which inspires youth to organize their school’s student body to collect pennies and spare change to help build schools, soccer fields and playgrounds in war-torn countries – converting minefields to safe fields where children can once again learn and play without fear. Our goal is to open the eyes and hearts of our students by engaging them to look beyond their own borders with compassion to other nations who struggle to achieve peace and become active participants in global peace-making - child to child.



The Roots of Peace Penny Campaign was informally founded in 2003 by high school student Kyleigh Kuhn with her mom and Roots of Peace Founder, Heidi Kuhn, and ABC KGO/7 TV news anchor Cheryl Jennings to help the most innocent victims of war – children.  After a trip to the Balkans where they walked through a minefield together, all three women mutually agreed to collaborate on an innovative student-to-student program to help heal the wounds of war where landmines are daily seeds of terror for innocent families.



Over 50,000,000 pennies have been raised by our Penny Campaign since our inception in 2003.

In July 2008, Roots of Peace proudly completed a special project in Afghanistan – the transformation of a tent school into a 10-room schoolhouse with restrooms, a soccer field and an enclosure wall.

Kids Desks   Kids Crayons

Afghan boys and girls at our new Roots of Peace School in Afghanistan - August 2008


IT IS SIMPLE!   First, identify a “school coordinator” - a principal, teacher, parent or student - to be the official point of contact.  Then contact us!

create promotional materials such as coin collection cans, a newsletter article, photos, posters and more

launch the campaign with a school-wide assembly or student council presentation, including an optional script, video, skit, slide show, photos and lots of other ideas

offer curriculum for teachers to help make the project as educational as it will be inspirational and worthwhile

place coin collection canisters in classrooms and other school locations and periodically collect the coins to store in a safe location in the school office or safe

conclude your Penny Campaign by collecting all the coins, “paper coins” and checks  and using Coinstar or your local bank to convert all the coins to dollars and mail your donation to Roots of Peace. 

You’re in control! You decide the best way to get the most out of the program.

100% of your donations go directly to our projects – so every penny counts!

Penny Map


Years of conflict in war-torn countries have deprived the current generation of youth the needed formal education that will fuel the future growth of an emerging country.  In Afghanistan, for example, with 44.6% of Afghanis under the age of 14, schools can become central to positive social change in Afghan communities.

Yet, landmines and other remnants of war continue to hinder children’s access to schools for education and ball fields and playgrounds for activities for positive social development.   The majority of landmine victims are curious children – often walking to and from school or inadvertently venturing into minefields that surround their communities.

Without safe access to the means of changing their way of life through education and social development, Afghan children remain vulnerable to the surrounding warring factions. They become victims of a continuous cycle of violence and a future without hope. Will Afghanistan create the next generation of productive citizens or the future foot soldiers of disorder?

The consequences of the instability festering in Afghanistan and in other war-torn countries in conflict have reached American shores. Americans must break the cycle of insular thinking and teach the next generation of American children to look outward and embrace a global leadership role to make the world a better place. While most Americans have a desire to take some sort of action, most feel powerless to do so, especially our youth.

The Roots of Peace Penny Campaign empowers American students to take positive action towards peace.  The program helps students to look beyond their own backyard and explore the plight of Afghan kids and other children less fortunate and contrast their own lives with those of kids in war-torn countries.

School children, individual donors, ABC 7/KGO TV, Bank of Marin, Loomis Fargo & Co., Marin Independent Journal, United Nations, and U.S. Department of State.  We are also pleased to announce that in August 2008, the US Department of State agreed to match $25,000 for pennies raised by school children in our Penny Campaign!

Roots of Peace Penny Campaign is a program of Roots of Peace, a humanitarian, 501c3, non-profit organization based in San Rafael, California, USA.


Send an email at or contact our office at 415-455-8008.