Every Penny Counts

In November 1987, Fred Skau, a bartender on Polk Street, put an empty glass jar on his bar with a sign asking for donations for people with AIDS.

In the following month, other bars joined the effort, and over $10,000 in coins was collected, followed by $100,000 raised over the next year. More than 500 jars were placed in restaurants, bars, retail stores, and small businesses. An army of volunteers canvassed the neighborhoods, emptying jars and bringing the coins to PRC AIDS Emergency Fund. Other volunteers sorted, counted, and bagged the coins.

2018 marks Every Penny Counts’ 31st year of fundraising and is still run by an all-volunteer “penny posse”. Over the years, proceeds from Every Penny Counts have totaled more than $3.2 million. To this day, people from all walks of life continue to empty their spare change into the jars, netting over $20,000 annually for clients in need. 100% of the money raised from the jars goes directly to assist PRC AIDS Emergency Fund clients.

Participating Merchants

17th & Noe Market

Alexander Hamilton
American Legion Post 448

Alex Fitness

Aunt Charlie’s Lounge

B.A.R. (Bay Area Reporter)

Boston Properties

Castro Village Cleaners

Central YMCA


Community Thrift Store

Cove Café


EHDD Architects

Gallery Paul Anglim



Gino’s For Hair

Fitness SF – Castro

Hole In The Wall Saloon

John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Martin Mass, MD

Moby Dick Bar

Mr. S Leather


Pilsner Inn

P O Plus

Puff N Stuff

Smoke Plus

Sojourn Properties

Spike’s Coffee & Tea

Sunset Stationers

TechSoup Global

The Cinch Bar

The Edge Bar

The Packaging Store


Twin Peaks Tavern

Viking Hair Styling

Walgreens – Castro

Wild Side West

Worn Out West

YP Holdings

Zephyr Real Estate –
West Portal

Zephyr Real Estate –
Market Street at Noe Street

Zephyr Real Estate –
California Street

Request Your Own Jar

To request a jar for your home, office, or business, or to enroll your school in the Every Penny Counts campaign, please email pennies@prcsf.org.

Volunteer for Every Penny Counts

We are always looking for more wonderful individuals who are willing and able to lend us their various talents. To volunteer and become a member of the Every Penny Counts penny posse, please email pennies@prcsf.org.

We would like to give extra special thanks to the following Every Penny Counts volunteer posse members:

Kelly Rivera Hart, EPC Coordinator
Ivan Holum, School Campaign Associate
Joe Czuberki, Merchant Campaign Associate

In Their Own Words

“I am infinitely grateful for the speed, attention, and availability during my case. You are an excellent group and agency for those of us with medical conditions and mental health issues. Thank you very much!”

— PRC Client