The movement has been led by local painter Darío Paz, who through his Facebook group “Se Busca a Robin Hood”-In search of Robin Hood – has already organized other popular volunteer schemes for the needy.
“A friend I hadn’t seen in ages messaged me to tell me he’d had a dream about the Cents for a miracle initiative,” Paz told The Local.
“It’s a great idea as it draws a parallel between the small cent coins and the people affected by evictions – Alone they seem worthless, but together they are powerful.”
People of all ages and local businesses took to the streets of Tenerife on Saturday to hand over whatever spare change they had handy to “Robin Hood” platform.
“It was quite something to see little children emptying their piggy banks to help out,” Paz explains.
With the help of Spain’s anti-evictions lobby the PAH (Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca) and Candelaria Solidarity Foundation, Paz and his “group of merry men” managed to raise 700 kilos of coins.
“It’s approximately €5,000 worth, enough to save two families from being evicted,” he explains.
“It’s also meant to be a bit of a kick in the teeth to the banks; handing them all the sacks of coins and saying ‘There you go, count them!’”
Evictions in Spain reached a record high in 2012 with nearly 40,000 homes being repossessed due to unpaid mortgages.
Spanish legislation has been widely criticized internationally as homeowners indebted to the banks still have to pay their mortgages after being evicted.
The jump in evictions has soared to the top of the country’s political and social agenda thanks to anti-evictions lobby PAH’s intervention in the forced removal of people from their homes and widely published condemnation of banks’ actions during Spain’s worst financial crisis in modern history.