Because so many of you are sending me coupons…

I’m branching out with my donation activities. Okay, so I’m also branching out because I need a distraction from the complete nosedive my work has taken in the last 3 weeks (pretty sure it’s seasonal/temporary, but still, the fear persists), but this post is dedicated to the many readers who’ve been printing, clipping, and mailing me packets of coupons. This is what I’ve been able to do with your help.

I recently came across another post on craigslist worth pursuing – a woman with 4 kids of her own plus a husband, and they take in stray 17-22 year olds, let them sleep and hang out in their 3BR apartment in the projects, and help them get GEDs and jobs. She’s been doing this for 10 years because she was once a homeless street kid herself. She’s in the process of applying for non-profit status so that it’ll be easier to solicit donations – she and her husband have both been laid off, so they can no longer afford to do this on their own.

We met on Sunday, and she brought her oldest (21…and she’s only 36, wow) plus 3 of her – what should I call them? Let’s call them semi-kids. In future, I might do the deliveries myself, out of curiosity mostly. Joanna and her husband are currently caring for 13 male semi-kids, and there are about 5 girl semi-kids that don’t sleep there but visit during the day for food and other support. Joanna’s goal is to one day have her own shelter of sorts, because 13 troubled teens plus 3 of her own kids (only one is really young) plus them = not a lot of privacy.

I contacted her offering my usual shampoo/toothpaste/deodorant care package and mentioned that sometimes I get large amounts of a single product, like cereal or Pop Tarts or mustard but that at the moment, my stockpile was low.  So below is a picture of what she got – plus 8 bags of Chex Mix and 3 dozen eggs (forgot to put them in the picture!) that I blew a bunch of $1 RRs at Walgreens on:

SeptShopping 004

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8 Responses

  1. wow. bet she was happy she found YOU!!

  2. You rock! How DO you find these people? Good eggs, I mean. More coupons coming your way soon.

    • The same place I found my apartment, my mom’s car, my couch and most of my clients: Craigslist. I go to the Items Wanted page and plug in the things I have to give away. I tried this on Freecycle too, but most broke folks don’t know about it.

  3. Hi MMK!

    For us coupon-dummies out there, would you consider guiding us through how to get started couponing with an actual week’s coupons. I get the concept, I just can’t seem to find the right coupons to get started.

    I don’t even need the stuff myself really — maybe a few things here and there, but I think it would be an awesome way to make some donations even when I don’t have a lot of dinero to spend on that.

    Thanks!!!

    • Jen, there are tons of people out there who compile store deals and coupon match-ups. Here are three things you’d need to do:

      1) Get your hands on 2-4 copies of the coupon inserts from the Sunday papers. On the front, write the date they came out.

      2) Have a printer.

      3) Tell me what store you want to start with and I’ll direct you to the best match-up site I know for it. I recommend CVS for starters – it’s the easiest and the cheapest to keep going once you get started.

  4. Wow, I have to commend you for adding this ‘family’ to your list of donations!! Sounds like a pay-it-forward deal. I hope the semi-kids grow up and follow suit.

    • I think Joanna the House Mom does a terrific job of setting an example for them – she was abused as a kid, ran away, lived in the streets most of her teen years, had her first baby at 15 and lived in an abandoned building with him for the first 3 months of his life, and who knows what else.

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