RICHMOND HILL, Ga. (WTOC) - First there was a nationwide toilet paper and hand sanitizer shortage when the COVID-19 pandemic started, now there’s a shortage nobody expected; a coin shortage.
It's leaving many businesses across the country scrambling for change to give to customers.
The owner at the Ice Cream Stop in Richmond Hill says they go through about $50 worth of rolled coins a week. With the nationwide shortage, the coins that were donated to them Monday will last them about two to three weeks.
It's not every day that 7 and 10-year-old boys empty out their savings account to help their favorite ice cream shop. The boys donated $71 in coins to the store.
“When you say ice cream and you say Mr. Bill and Mrs. Gayle, there was no hesitation. They were like ice cream, no we can’t do without an ice cream store; we got to go help the ice cream store,” said Britnee Greenlee Kinard, the boys’ mother.
That was the case for Blayne and Maks Kinard, when they found out that the Ice Cream Stop was running low on coins due to the pandemic.
"They were running short on money and we really wanted to help them. We grabbed all of the change in our savings and are giving it to him."
For owner Bill Pollard, he says he's trying to make sense of it all.
“I first found out about six weeks ago when I had gone to the bank to buy coins, we’ve now reopened back up once we had the clearance to do so. They said it wasn’t available because the mint had basically, through whatever point, was not going to process as much coin as they have. So, when I asked the bank, well what are we supposed to do for the change; their response was you need to figure it out,” Pollard said.
He says he never thought something as simple as a penny, dime or even a quarter would start to impact his business.
"The challenge that I had when we first found out about it was, do I have to raise my prices, do I have to short change and not be able to cover the cost because we're not going to take the coins if I can't make coins; it really didn't make a whole lot of sense."
He says he's thankful for his tight-knit community and generosity.
For mom, she says this proves no action is too small.
“This is all they have from birth to current, it’s not a lot I realize that, but this is everything they’ve earned from doing chores to helping out around the house to everything. I mean they literally have nothing left in their savings account,” Kinard said.
As for Maks and Blayne, of course there was also a sweet incentive involved; ice cream.