This weekend I’m taking part in a blog blast sponsored by the Parent Bloggers Network and the Quaker Oats Company to spread the word about their Start With Substance campaign to donate up to one million bowls of oatmeal to those in need! Check out the Start With Substance Website to see how YOU can help make it happen!
Quaker has challenged bloggers to write about how our families have helped others or will be helping others in 2009. I’ve written (approximately) a million times in my life about how couponing has been a blessing to me and my family. But one of the things I love most about couponing is that it’s allowed us to be a blessing to others. Before couponing, we didn’t have resources to just give to people in need. Now, while we still may not have wads of cash to give away, we can meet material needs with all the extras I get through couponing.
Take the blood glucose monitors pictured above, for instance. I get these for free with coupons and usually “make money” on them via rebate or CVS ExtraCare bucks. No one in my family has diabetes, so we donate them to our local non-profit Hospice. Their patients use them only a short time, and since these items can’t be re-used, re-stocking them can be costly. Last year we donated about 15 of these, and this year as you can see, I already have a stack ready to take over there. I believe they do very valuable work there, and I feel great about donating to them.
In 2008, because of couponing, my family donated hundreds of dollars of toiletries, cleaning products, and hygiene items to local women’s shelters, church efforts, and just individuals that we or friends knew of who were down on their luck. These items can mean a lot because you see, food stamps only buy food. They won’t buy paper towels, diapers, or Lysol. I’ve given deodorant to a grateful mom of three stinky teenage boys and a bag full of makeup to a twenty-year-old girl who couldn’t afford to buy it for herself and was overjoyed to get it, and diapers and wipes to a family at my mom’s church who took in the THREE young kids of a relative who was too busy doing drugs to care for her kids. I can be generous, giving away what we have because I know through couponing, I can always get more. But the people I’m giving to can’t.
It’s so fun to be able to make someone’s day with the little things. And the beauty of it is, of course, that it’s not costing me money out-of-pocket, that more often than not I’m able to turn my drugstore shopping into a profitable venture. So everyone wins, needs are met, hearts are blessed.
That’s what coupons can do for ya! What’s not to love!? When savings lead to giving, it’s a beautiful thing.
And just to keep it real, I need to let y’all know that this post was written for Parent Bloggers Network as part of a sweepstakes sponsored by The Quaker Oats Company. If I win, HUGE party at my place, and you’re all invited. So, ya know, cross your fingers!