INDIANAPOLIS - A woman named Faith collected 500,000 pennies to donate toward her goddaughter's college tuition, a chunk of change that will pay for her room and board.
In 1997, Faith Hammock, 40, of Indianapolis, began saving spare change in an effort she called "Pennies From Heaven," so that her goddaughter, Kyla Gilbert, could someday attend college.
When Gilbert was just 3-years-old, Hammock, who was born with a brain condition and is mentally disabled, began collecting rolls, baskets and fists full of pennies. And when she began spreading the word, more donations started pouring in.
"Faith even had us picking up pennies off the street. If we saw pennies on the street, you had to pick them up," said Hammock's mother, Janice Mays.
The 15 years of determination and coin collecting by the family paid off for Gilbert.
"All this hard work that they've put into me, I had to put it into something else and show them that I'm a good student. They are investing in me and they are investing in something good," Gilbert said.
(Mobile users can watch the video by following this link: http://youtu.be/Bi1iKoZs2eQ)
"She is about to go to college in the fall, and I'm going to be happy for her," Hammock said.
As an honors high school graduate, Gilbert will be attending Indiana University in the fall with hopes of one day becoming a nurse.
"She's kept me going for years and years. I just don't know what I would do without her. I'm so happy to have her. I wouldn't want any other godmother," Gilbert said.
Along with the "Pennies From Heaven," Gilbert has earned other scholarships and said her entire college tuition is nearly paid in full. Gilbert plans to use Hammock’s donation for room and board.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Sixteen people were taken to the hospital Friday, at least two in serious condition, after they were hurt in a crash between a hotel shuttle bus and a tractor-trailer near Atlanta's airport, officials said.
An Interstate 5 bridge over a river north of Seattle collapsed Thursday evening, dumping vehicles and people into the water.