The Penny Harvest is an annual fundraising event benefiting the Warren County Children’s Shelter (WCCS) held in conjunction with nearly two dozen schools in the Vicksburg/Warren County area. Each year, schools compete during the two-week event to see who can raise the most money.

In 2016, the fundraiser collected $12,376 to support the needs of children served by the shelter. Overall, 20 schools participated. Bowmar Elementary, a K-6 school, won the overall award for the most money collected, bringing in $2,678.

counting penny

“For 26 years, the Vicksburg schools, both private and public, have coveted the Overall Penny Harvest Trophy,” said Cindy McCarley, shelter director for WCCS. “We are excited to have the support of Wendy’s again this year to thank top harvesters at each school for all they’ve done for the shelter; for DIMCO, Inc., graciously harvesting our pennies; and for Chick-Fil-A employees who kindly distribute all of our supplies to the schools.”

The students and faculty look for creative ways to bring in a dollar. Last year, Vicksburg High School hosted a kickball tournament among its teachers. Several students dressed as piggy banks to cheer on their favorite team. The mascots will return this year to help raise awareness of the Penny Harvest among the schools.

penny harvest piggies

Students dressed as piggy banks walk around the Penny Harvest kickball game at Vicksburg High. All of the proceeds raised at the event go towards the Warren County Children’s Shelter. Photo Credit: Vicksburg Post 2016

Members of the local community also step up to help their favorite school. TJ Mayfield, a teacher and coach at Warren Central, organized a volleyball tournament last year to support fundraising efforts pitting the Warren County Sheriff’s Department against the Vicksburg Police Department. The rivalry is expected to continue this year, although details are not immediately available.

“The children in the shelter, who are old enough, attend these local schools every day and it is so uplifting to see students supporting their peers and giving back,” McCarley said. “The Penny Harvest helps purchase toiletries, school uniforms, bedding, diapers, clothes, toys and other items the children need. The community’s support really makes a difference in what we are able to do.”

penny jar

The Penny Harvest runs from December 4-15, 2017. All 21 schools in the Warren County area have announced plans to participate.

“The greatest reward is watching as children scrounge for change, emptying their piggy banks and asking mom and dad how they can help to pay it forward to those who have less than them. We are so appreciative of the support of our local schools and community. They have always come through for the shelter,” said McCarley. “I can’t wait to see what they have in store for 2017.”

If you would like to help support fundraising efforts for a particular school during the Penny Harvest, please contact WCCS at 601-634-0640 or by emailing or