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Local nonprofit calls Kurtis after struggling to exchange foreign coins

STOCKTON (CBS13) — When a valley nonprofit couldn't find anyone willing to exchange foreign coins that were donated to them, they decided to call Kurtis.

Directions Medical Clinic is based out of Stockton and Lodi and offers pregnancy-related services. The nonprofit runs off donations, and over the years, they've collected bags and bags of foreign coins through their annual baby-bottle fundraisers at local churches.

The organization's CEO, Paula Leary, says that they've approached local banks, currency exchange businesses and even airports – but no one would exchange the coins.

"It would be wonderful if we could turn it in and it just wouldn't sit in this bag, you know, collecting dust," she said. "We could use it."

So that got us wondering, what should you do if you have leftover coins from your travels overseas?

CBS13 checked with the United States Treasury Department to find the answer, which advises that banks are likely the best option. However, the department also notes that it's generally easier to exchange paper currency.

Many banks refuse foreign coins, especially if they are not rolled, which they are legally allowed to do.

The major banks CBS13 spoke with said that while they do offer foreign currency exchange at almost all of their branches, they reserve the service for account-holders only.

We reached out to the bank that the nonprofit uses and got them to agree to an exchange. But it's worth remembering if you're fortunate enough to travel internationally, try spending those coins before the return flight home.  

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