I originally stumbled into the personal finance blogosphere two months ago in search of person experiences with investment instruments and maybe an idea or two for a potential secondary income. But I’m getting so much more from this online community than I’d anticipated… 

foodpantryI had a connect-the-dots moment last night. After reading blog entries from Mapgirl and Shtinkykat about donating to local food banks and hearing so much about them in the news, I started rethinking my feelings about charity. I prefer to help those in more dire need than you’ll find any American suffering from, but with the Second Coming of The Great Depression at hand, it just doesn’t sit well with me to not do anything for “my own”. Now add to that MyDollarPlan‘s recent posting about how to put unneeded freebies resulting from a strategic round of CVS couponing to good use, and the wheels start churning.

If I were donating cash for local hunger relief, it would go straight to a biggie like New York Food Bank. I temped there once, but ditched the job because it was in an industrial warehouse complex in the South Bronx, and the boss liked to keep me so late that I was the only person at the bus stop, waiting for a bus that never came and so I walked two miles in the dark until I found a main road with public transportation. Okay, that has nothing to do with anything, but I did get to see what a large and well-run organization it is, even if only for a few days.

However, realistically, most of the coupon/drugstore deals that result in freebies aren’t for food…but as one of the bloggers above mentions in their post, there is a need for pet food – and certainly I’ve heard lots of local news stories about people giving up their pets as soon as they hit tough times. So I can do that. I’m also looking for a local shelter to donate toiletries to, because it’s pretty easy to get name-brand shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, etc. for free or nearly free with all the coupons I rescue from my weekend dumpster dives (if you’ve ever used dollar-store deodorant or sanitary pads, you’ll know what a waste that is).


4 Responses

  1. Thank you! Your generosity is very inspirational. And thanks for the suggestion about using coupons I normally throw out. I can buy stuff with the coupons to donate to shelters. What a GREAT idea!

  2. Hi there-this is a really great post and a very inspirational idea too!

  3. We volunteer at the local shelter and I say we have about 3x the number of dogs that would normally have. Many are great dogs but the owners could no longer care for them.

    About the food bank, we give a set amount of food to our local food bank each month. They have been showing pictures in the news and the shelves are empty.

    I always think about the children not having food and it really encourages me to give.

    Thanks for a great post.

  4. I’ve always thrown out the pet food coupons before, so I thought that idea was wonderful!

    Hopefully we can all make a difference with our donations.

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