Couponing for Charity

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Last Tuesday morning started like any other day. I dropped my son off at high school, scooped up the morning paper from the driveway and rushed back inside to wake my next “batch” of kids to get ready for elementary school. I downed a cup of coffee, made lunches with my free hand and skimmed the newspaper as I often do. What I saw next made me stop everything I was doing.

Photo Credit: Naples Daily News - Lexey Swall

The headline of the article read: “Cupboard is bare: St. Matthew’s House needs food” and the picture that went along with it made a cold chill run up my spine. The shelves had only a few cans of food left! I looked to my left where our pantry is located and, as in the house of any Coupon Diva, saw that it was overflowing with canned foods, pastas, rice and on and on.

What followed was a strange couple of seconds where I had flashbacks to my childhood when my own father was out of work and struggling to put food on the table for our family. It wasn’t the proudest moment of his life, but someone was there to help us through it, even it was just cheese and butter.

I felt a strong urge to make a difference, to do something for the people who would show up that day looking for a bag of groceries to get through the week and feed their families. I took the newspaper to my husband and dropped it in his lap and said “St. Matthews House is out of food and I want to do something about it.” My husband, who supports everything I do, was behind me 100% so we took the day off and set out to help.

We called the food bank to get a list of what was needed the most and checked several stores to see if we could get a discount. None of them could offer one on the spot so we ended up heading to Costco.

I was so excited that they had almost everything the food bank needed that day. We were able to get 100 lbs. of rice, 192 cans of tuna, 240 single serve cereals, 216 cans of chicken noodle soup, 624 single serve packs of oatmeal, 96 boxes of Macaroni and Cheese, 144 cups of chicken soup and 80 boxes of spaghetti!

When we arrived at St. Matthews House, I was so impressed to see how our small town had pulled together to help our neighbors in need. Cars were steadily pulling in and dropping off donations in all sizes.

“So, what is my point of telling you this?” I felt very fortunate last Tuesday, I have a roof over my head, food on my table and a healthy family. We’re digging out of some pretty tough times ourselves, but we still felt like we had to do something to help our local community. The fact is, that no matter how big or small, EVERY donation helps.

Please consider giving what you can to your local food bank and help those less fortunate in your area. Times are tight and we all need to lean on each other for support and stand strong.

If you are one of the many people struggling in these hard times to make ends meet and can’t spare anything right now, please know that by supporting you have helped us make a difference! Thanks to you, we were able to make this donation on the behalf of every member of the Coupon Divas community!

Take a moment today to see how you can help your local community with a few of those extra coupons you have laying around. You’ll be glad you did.

A Special Note: I would like to thank Naples Daily News writers Liz Freeman and Lexey Swall for sharing the original story with our community.