An Ottawa man has started a campaign encouraging people to collect pennies and donate them to their favourite charity.

Steve St. Pierre told CBC's Ottawa Morning he lamented the loss of the penny, which was eliminated from production as part of the 2012 federal budget, because of its status in Canadian history.

He decided to create a Twitter account acting as the penny under the handle @CDN_penny, which began as a sarcastic character.

But soon that caught fire on social media and St. Pierre decided to use it for some good. He then created a website that promotes the donation of pennies to charitable causes.

"If I've done anything to bring the penny back to the forefront of people's minds and just doing something for a good cause, then I think that's pretty awesome," St. Pierre told host Robyn Bresnahan.

Twitter-based initiative

Show your roll works by promoting people to collect pennies, take a photo of the collection, then tweet the photo out and say where the pennies are going to be donated with the term "#showyourroll".

The website, which was created just two weeks ago, is powered by St. Pierre's employer High Road Communications.

That company has donated its pennies to both the Ottawa and Toronto food banks.

St. Pierre said he has turned his sadness regarding the penny's extinction into an initiative that has promoted awareness of the penny.

"The Canadian penny is a huge part of our past and to see that just fade away is a little bit of a bummer," he said.