HAMPTON, Tenn. - A penny has almost become insignificant. Do you even stop to pick one up from the street? But we all know pennies add up to make nickels, dimes and dollars.
A Hampton, Tennessee woman is counting on that as she gets set to run in the New York City Marathon next month. She's looking for donations of a penny for each person she passes in order to help local kids.
Four years ago walking became a stress reliever for a home schooling mom with four kids. "Out of curiosity I thought I would just see how many minutes I could jog for the first time at 38 years old. I set the watch and I started. I lasted 12 seconds before I hit stop," Samanta Legge said. "So that started the pattern. From then on I wanted to see if I could go a little further every time."
Those personal goals have her now running marathons. She does a lot of her training in and around Doe River Gorge Ministries in Carter County.
That sparked an idea. "I was thinking, is there any benefit to what I'm doing to anybody other than just myself? I don't think there is at this point and for what I'm doing I'd like people to benefit," the runner says.
In particular, kids. Kids from all over the country have the opportunity to come to the Gorge during the summer for camp.
"I know of kids right here in Hampton that their family doesn't think that they could afford to send their kids. This is a way that I wanted to be able to provide a little financial help to say, yeah I think we can," Samantha said.
She's using her running as a way to raise that money by passing as many runners as she can in the New York City Marathon. "A penny for every person that I pass in the marathon. There are 47,000 runners in the New York City Marathon in about two and half weeks and I'm going to be starting dead last," she said.
"She came with this idea of starting at the end of the race with 47,000 runners and try to get a pledge for each person she passed, a penny for each person she passed. I thought it was a fabulous idea, very unique, very creative so I said run with it," says Terry Maughon with the ministries.
And run with it she has. She's beginning to trim back on her training, just doing 12 miles a day, with her eyes on the prize of passing as many people as possible in the marathon's 26.2 miles on November 4.