Quake Update: Coining A Hit Fundraiser


Categories: Fundraiser Geocaching News Geocoin Travel Bugs


You can bet your bottom dollar Auckland cacher Kevin Swain never expected his Christchurch earthquake fundraiser would generate so much interest.

Since the co-owner of Geocachers NZ began selling his charitable geocoin just hours after the February 22nd aftershock that devastated the South Island city, he has been interviewed on six podcasts, mentioned in a local newspaper and discussed on caching forums worldwide.

All this publicity has helped boost sales of the limited-edition New Zealand flag micro geocoin, with orders coming in from the United States, Australasia, Europe and Britain.

Swain, who is currently finalising his design with American manufacturer Oakcoins, had originally hoped to get 150 coins minted but expected to sell only about 50. Now he says that figure will be at least 255 – not counting a major purchase expected by his Friday deadline.

“Two weeks later, we have sold 220 geocoins and we are still getting orders.”

Another 30-plus coins have been sold in Australia by webstore Geostuff.

Proceeds from the NZ$15 or A$10 trackable – which features the word Christchurch and 22/02/2011 date  – will go to the Red Cross 2011 Canterbury Earthquake Appeal.

Though Swain (GC handle Kevs_Team) does not yet know how much money he has raised, he’s anticipating a sizable donation for the city that still resembles a disaster zone as it buries its 166 dead and looks for the bodies of another 200 still missing amongst the rubble.

“As an example, if you took NZ$5 as the profit from each coin, that adds up to over NZ$1000. [But] I will not know the exact amount of money until I have the coins landed here in New Zealand, due to postage and Customs charges.”

He expects to dispatch his finished product in early April, having been “informed that there is a three-week lead time plus shipping to New Zealand” by the Utah mint.

“Sorry about the delay, but I am sure you will agree the sheer number of orders that keep coming in and the great charity involved justifies this delay.”

Among his most prolific buyers was new Terracaching boss Cash Smithwick, who purchased 20 of the geocoins “to send as surprise gifts to some of my new members”. In turn, Smithwick (TC handle Cash108) is hoping this will inspire more contributions to a special locationless cache set up to aid quake victims  – but more about that soon.

*If you haven’t purchased a Christchurch Earthquake Geocoin yet, time is running out. Final orders must be in by Thursday, March 10 at the latest.


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