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Pennies add up: Arizona boy donates 1,000 jars of coins to charity

Some kids want toys for their birthdays. Some want a party.

Tyson Copeland wanted coins. Lots of them.

On Wednesday, his birthday wish came true: He received more than 1,000 mason jars filled to the brim with coins.

Since June, Tyson has been on a mission to collect 1,000 jars for the Colten Cowell Foundation to help build a new 35,000-square-foot Crime Fighting Cave.

The current, smaller cave provides children who have a serious medical issue with a unique and fun experience. It’s filled with blinking electronic gadgets, a vintage car collection and fun gizmos. Tyson visited the cave in March. When he learned the foundation wanted to expand, he put his thinking hat on.

“I’m not sure where he got that idea,” Amy Copeland, Tyson’s mom, said of the jars.

When Tyson told her about his goal, she worried about the outcome.

“He said, ‘Mom, if I ask people, they’ll do it.’”

The community didn’t disappoint. On Wednesday, Tyson’s 11th birthday, he pulled up to the MidFirst Bank near Elliott and Rural roads in a Batmobile. To his surprise, not only did get a heart-filled happy birthday song from both supporters and police officers from across the Valley, but he was also given more than 1,000 mason jars filled with coins.

Tyson never imagined he’d get this far.

“I started with 20 jars, then I said, ‘I’m going to fill more,’ and then all of a sudden, boom!”

Schools, businesses, police and fire departments and community members all chipped in to help him collect the jars. His mom couldn’t be more proud.

“It’s wonderful — overwhelming — but absolutely wonderful to see him smiling and helping,” she said.

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