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This is a guest post done by Heather at Clipping for a Cause.
“Clipping for a Cause” began out of a passion for couponing, saving money, and helping others. After realizing that coupons could help so many others in need, I decided to make it a personal mission to clip for a cause! Since its beginning, word has spread and others have been inspired to launch the same effort in their own areas!
There are several suggestions I have to help you get started:
1) If you are part of a church family, send an email or set up an appointment with the pastors to tell them about your idea for a new ministry. Explain that a box could be set out each Sunday in a designated spot at church. This is where congregation members would be invited to drop their unused coupon inserts each week. From there, announcements could be made about the new “Clipping for a Cause” ministry (through bulletins, mailouts, emails, or whatever way you think provides the best means of communication). After several weeks of building up a “coupon base” a group could begin to form regularly (every other week is what we do) to clip and shop for the items that are either free or just a few cents that week! Research your local food banks and other organizations in need. Currently, food banks everywhere are experiencing an increased demand for food due to the rise in the numbers of people needing to turn to them for food. Take into consideration also that organizations are not just in need of non-perishable food, they need anything from frozen food and personal care to cleaning items!
2) If you aren’t part of a church family, you can still get involved individually! One of our ministry members here in Atlanta began her own effort right in her neighborhood! She created a box and labeled it “Clipping for a Cause.” All neighbors were notified via email that if they did not use their coupons they could drop them off in the box each week on her front porch. The first week she got 17 inserts and 26 the second week! To be able to collect 26 separate coupons for something like “Mahatma Rice,” and then donate those bags to families greatly in need for FREE is an effortless way for all of us to give back! Even better, hardly anything ever comes out of pocket! To date, our local “Clipping for a Cause” chapter has donated nearly 3,000 items for around $30 while saving over $800 over a span of 4 months!
3) If the first 2 ideas don’t really appeal to you there is still a 3rd way you can get involved! Another area of “Clipping for a Cause” is a monthly “Mobile Food Drive.” This could be your neighbors, co-workers, friends or family members. Each month set a specific date as to when you would like to do the mobile food drive. Then, ask everyone to set out one bag of non-perishables that could be picked up and delivered. This is yet another easy way for everyone to come together to “stock the shelves” of food banks across the nation!
If you have any questions or comments, visit clipping for a cause or leave a comment below.
Notes from Jenny:
If you are “rarin’ to go” to donate goods there is a way that you can shop for others and still not upset the coupon world around you. As Heather said above it’s awesome to grab 26 bags of rice to donate but also pause to consider the folks that are shopping around you that need one for their family this week.
The best way to be considerate and shop in bulk is to look at your sale flier the first day it starts and then go that day and ask your store to order you your own case etc. of the items you want. They will get a shipment in again before the end of the ad with your products on it. This makes it a win win moment:
- You get everything you want to donate.
- Your fellow shoppers still have products left to buy.
- Your store doesn’t get wiped clean and have to write a ton of rain checks (grocery stores lose money with rain checks).
If you are looking for places to donate other than food banks I got an email today from a parent at a Ronald McDonald House saying that they are in desperate need at many of these houses.