My journey of couponing has allowed me to give like never before. Whether it was for Operation Christmas Child Boxes, Thanksgiving Baskets, or just giving to my loved ones, I have been able to do so much more with much less money. I would like to think I have a heart for giving, until I met a woman who’s heart aches for giving.
“The righteous gives and does not hold back.” Proverbs 21:26
Sarah and I met on my facebook page: Couponing 101: Shopping With Shana. She was a couponer searching for help on how to stock-up on those personal care items that are most needed. Before Sarah found my facebook page, she explained:
“About a year ago I started the hard core couponing. I would look for deals where I could get things for free. I was skimming through Facebook one night and came across the story of what shelters are afraid to ask their donors for.”
After building a small stockpile of items, Sarah took her haul to a local food bank. As tears weld up in the volunteer’s eyes, Sarah was on a mission to continue to give. A month later she was back with more, a whole lot more.
“A month later I returned to the food bank with my big boxes full, I wanted to make a difference. I walked in and the sisters were praying. They finished their prayer and immediately began sobbing when they saw I had come back. This time I found out they had not received any donations of pads or anything since the month prior and wanted to so badly help women who had come seeking help with that issue. I sat my boxes down and you would have thought [it] was [like] Jesus and the 4 loaves of bread and 2 fish. At that point I realized I had been blessed with a gift.”
Sarah has done so much more since then by giving to the community from putting together cleaning kits to providing hygiene and personal care products. But it was in February of 2016 that her church approached her. First Christian Church Disciples of Christ in Covington, KY was planning a mission trip to Beatyville in Eastern Kentucky to help support the community by building & painting but also to help support a local food bank. They tasked Sarah with finding the best deals.
“He who is generous will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor.” Proverbs 22:9
To help Sarah, the church members would save their coupon inserts and she would pick up stacks of coupons every Sunday morning. Now it was just about finding the DEALS!
I remember one of the first few conversations I had with Sarah, she had found toothpaste for $.25 or so after coupons. She was SO excited about the find! I had to burst her bubble and told her that she could do better. (As a couponer, you NEVER pay for toothpaste and honestly if you aren’t getting paid to take it out of the store then its only an ok deal.) She was SHOCKED!
“I would pay maybe $1 or $2 for toothpaste. [Shana] said watch and learn. I did. When it was all said and done I had 68 tubes of toothpaste and maybe paid $3 for all of it because I spent $2 on 2 tubes.”
After several months of hard work and couponing as well as a curve ball in her personal life as she dealt with the death of a precious family member, the mission team of 9 adults and 3 kids was prepared to leave. Sarah had managed to do more than thought possible.
“WE took over 70 tubes of toothpaste, 4 boxes of food, 50 packs of maxi pads and tampons, cleaning supplies and baby items. We arrived to lots of bare shelves but we were super excited that we left it full. “
Once Sarah returned to Northern Kentucky, one would think she could take a break from couponing or maybe only coupon for her own personal needs. Nope! Sarah was back and insisted on finding the next place to donate items to.
Sarah has been an inspiration to me and I love hearing about what she’s stocked up on and where it is going. God’s light is seen brightly through Sarah.
“In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” Acts 20:35
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