Simple Saturday ~ Declutter those foreign coins and help

Do you have any foreign coin cluttering up a drawer in your home. Even though this post is Australian oriented I am sure if you check out your countries UNICEF web site or contact them they will have a similar foreign coin initiative. Every airline I have travelled on have collected coin for this purpose. So if you have travelled overseas and have foreign coin sitting around unused why not declutter it and help children’s charities.

Drop off foreign coins at any Commonwealth Bank An exciting initiative launched by the Commonwealth Bank and UNICEF is encouraging Aussie travellers to make their spare foreign currency count for children in need around the world.

The Commonwealth Bank has recently launched its new foreign exchange envelope which promotes Commonwealth Bank’s support of UNICEF projects through the Coins for Kids program.

All foreign exchange purchased in branch will be placed in these envelopes which encourages customers to return foreign coins to Commonwealth Bank branches, supporting UNICEF’s work for children in developing countries.

Thank you to Judy for first posing this question to me. It got me thinking about the six different currencies we have lying in a drawer in my house. I will be off to the Commonwealth bank to drop it off next week.

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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. I have some of those coins and I just searched online for how to donate foreign coins. The address for those of us in the US to mail our coins/notes to support UNICEF popped up. Thanks for mentioning this.

  2. I have rarely traveled internationally, but I LOVE this idea. Thanks for posting it Colleen.

  3. I’m pretty sure the ASB bank in New Zealand collects foreign currency too.

  4. This post couldn’t be more timely. Just yesterday I decided to declutter my leftover vacation money from four different countries. Thanks for the UNICEF info.

  5. never gave it a thought actually. But this post made me search for donations in germany, I found out there is one big box at the airport (I will soon go and pick someone up there – so the time of “decluttering” is set as well)

    I checked again for other money, and I realized I have 110 GBP in a purse. Thats 130 euro, I should go and get it exchanged as quickly as possible… Thanks for this reminder, colleen!

    • I found another one. for the germans: you can send your coins to “Welthungerhilfe e.V.”.
      I packed my coins into a bubblewrap, and it will go to the post on monday morning, right after I exchanged my pounds to euro.

    • We have a big collection box at the Auckland International Airport. At the end of the year they total up the money and donate it to I think it’s 12 different local charities. They choose different ones every year. Visitors leaving New Zealand can also drop their NZ dollars/coins in it as well.

      • Hi Rae,
        airports all around the world usually have donation collection point for foreign money. I even noticed these in Dubai. My kids used to have fun with the ones in America because they are a funnel shape where you roll the coins in on their edge and they circle round and round until they reach a small hole in the bottom then drop into the collection point in the base.

    • I found that over here in Germany most donation boxes in supermarkets (even at Mc Donald’s etc.) take foreign coins as well. Just have a closer look.

    • What a nice little windfall Lena. Perhaps you could have a nice meal out with that.

  6. Hi Colleen, thanks for finding this out! As I let you know I was able to find that the Cerebral Palsy League of Qld take foreign coins (and notes) and sent my coins through to them. I also travelled Jet Star on the weekend and they accept foreign coins for their Star Kids programme so that was another option as well. Cheers Judy

    • Well done Judy,
      I knew the airlines took coins, which makes me wonder why we have so many when they could have been donated on the way home. I won’t be coming home with any on my next trip though.

      I am curious, did you have to pay for the postage to send the coins or do the charity have an agreement with Australia Post?

  7. Thanks for this post Colleen. I have a UNICEF envelope on my dressing table filled with currency from our recent trip to Thailand that I forgot to hand in on the plane and have been waiting to find out what to do with it so the Commonwealth Bank will be very convenient to drop it all off to. It declutters part of my dressing table anyway….now to the rest of it!

  8. Thanks so much for the reminder about my unseen clutter. My car’s ashtray has been full of euro coins since (gulp) last May. After reading your post, I gathered up all the foreign currency in my house and am shipping it off to UNICEF. I even used up a Justin Case bubble mailer!

    Here’s the address I used for American donations:
    U.S. Fund for UNICEF, ATTN: Change for Good Program, 125 Maiden Lane, New York, NY 10038. Be sure to include a note with your name, address, phone number, and email so they can let you know it was received.

    • Good for you okgirl, I feel like I have contributed well this month to UNICEF and I haven’t even dropped my coins off yet, thanks to several of my lovely readers taking action after reading my post. Mine will be dropped off later today.

  9. Great topic ! There is a similar service for all the old European currencies (no longer circulating and thus of no use for most people) – so if you find many different former European currencies like german mark or maybe spanish peseta or Austrian schilling, irish pound, slovenian tolar, a.s.o. you can still easily in one shippment donate them to UNICEF via Euromoney24 com/donations