Passionate Giving: What Happens When We All Work Together

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We’ve been working on a special project here at our house lately, and I’m so excited to share it with you guys!  Our Sunday School class (a group of about twenty couples), builds a home for a family on Upper Sand Mountain in North Alabama each fall.  Not only do they build the house, they also fund the cost of the home.  Soon after we moved to Alabama seven years ago, we attended the class for the first time and they discussed plans for building a home that year.  My husband and I knew we were where we wanted to be.

 

The homes are built for families who fall at or below the poverty line, and would not qualify for a Habitat House.  What I love about the program is that once the family is living in the home they pay back a portion of the cost of the home each month, and that money is used to begin a new house for another family.

 

So, I’m sure you’re wondering what on earth this has to do with coupons. (I would be too!)  Well, I was talking to my husband a few months ago and we decided that it would be fun to stock the pantry of the home using coupons.  (And it has been so fun to watch it add up!)  We’ve purchased paper towels, cleaning supplies, toothpaste (lots of toothpaste!), cereal, pasta, sauce, soap, school supplies and more for the home. (We may just have enough toothpaste to stock not only that family, but possibly the whole Upper Sand Mountain community!) ;)

 

My friends Liz & Shannon have also gotten on board, and between the three of us here’s what we purchased this week to donate . . .

 

 

The Colgate, Carolina Pride Bologna (which is headed to the freezer!), Degree, and Safeguard were all just about free at Kroger, and the Soft Scrub and Chef Boyardee priced out at less than a quarter each at Publix.  So, for less than $4 all those items have been added to the donation pile. (WOOHOO!)  And here’s what my guest bedroom is looking like (it may be awhile before a guest comes over to visit . . .)

 

Today as I was packing up this week’s deals, I realized that there was no way I had enough coupons for all those items on my own this week.  But when just three of us worked together, we were able to give generously as well as stock up for our own families. It got me thinking that no one person has to coupon for an entire community, but when we all work together we can give in abundance.

 

So, if you have an item or two you can give to someone in need this week, consider finding a local food pantry, church or school that would be blessed by your donations.  If you really want to get excited, find a specific group to donate to, and invite a few friends to join along! I’d love to hear how your grocery shopping trip went this week, and if you were able to purchase an item or two to give leave a comment to share how you’re giving passionately too.

 

Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”  Matthew  18:19-20

 

 

See how other folks are saving at Super Savings Saturday at Money Saving Mom,Weekly Totals at I Heart Publix, and Friday Finals at Southern Savers.

 

Learn more about passionate giving and interact with 5130+ Penny Pinchers on Facebook and Twitter.


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Comments

  1. Jessica says:

    Love it, love it, love it! Thanks so much for sharing ways to SHARE with others and not just be consumers & hoarders! There are so many people truly in need, and may the Lord bless you and your family richly this coming year in all you do!

    • Laurie says:

      Thanks Jessica! It’s amazing to think of the need that is out there, so I feel like it’s the least we can do to give some of our steals & deals. And it really does make the deal hunting that much more fun! :)

  2. Kim says:

    I think it is awesome that u donate so much!!

    • Laurie says:

      Thanks so much Kim! It really is so easy to give when I look at how fortunate we are, and just makes it so much more worth my time each day. :)

  3. Tammy Y says:

    Awesome idea! My husband is the general contractor for “Homes for Our Troops” that builds homes throughout the US for vetrans who have become disabled fighting to keep our country free.All the labor, materials, everything (less the land, in this case) is donated. They are working on a house here in Harvest,AL for a soldier named CPL Jeffery Williams who was paralyzed from his chest down while being ambushed by Iraqi soldiers in 2004. The house will be complete in around 3 more months and Mr. Williams will be handed the keys to his mortage free, specially addapted home. My husband said that he is at the job site rain or shine and starts each morning with a prayer to thank God for even in times like these, it’s a good feeling knowing that there are great Americans out there willing to help.

    Laurie, this has set a lightbulb off in my head. I know that furniture and things will be donated, but THE PANTRY!! I just cleaned mine, and last week I donated a lot to church, but we are blessed to have a bit of excess grocery money in our budget to help others if I play my cards right ;) I am going to fill that pantry. I’ve got several months to organize, and now that school has started back, I’ve got lots of time to plan! You have been quite an inspiration to me. God bless you, and BTW, you are lovely :)

    • Laurie says:

      You had both me and my hubby tearing up Tammy! (In fact, my husband said “see, THAT’S why you’re doing this!!!” . . . meaning crazy blogging thing. . . )

      What an incredible blessing you would be to fill his pantry . . . oh my goodness, that gives me goose bumps. Thank you so much for your encouragement; it really means so much to me and you truly made my day. I don’t even know what to say!

  4. You are such an inspiration to people! I LOVE this idea and now I’m going to start looking for a similar program down here in our area (Mobile, AL) that my friends and I could start helping with. Thanks for all that you do!

    • Laurie says:

      What a wonderful idea Amy! I never even thought about other people donating to new home builds for those who are struggling financially . . . wouldn’t it be amazing if couponers got together and stocked their pantries? How fabulous would that be? If you are able to find a similar program to give to in Mobile, please let me know about it – wow!

  5. Tina Klein says:

    Laurie,

    Its the last week of the 100k challenge..I see you still have been donating, but I only have your first one for 138.00..We are 2k from hitting 25,000 for our first try..so if you could send me an updated total I would so appreciate that..I am also letting everyone include donations since January..If you could send me your new total tomorrow or Sunday, that would be great!

    Happy Couponing!

    Super Coupon Woman

    • Laurie says:

      I left the link over on your FB page – I really haven’t added it up b/c I’ve just bought a few items each week while grabbing my own stuff to purchase. Love that you’re encouraging folks to give and it’s great to see how much has been donated!

  6. Angela says:

    Since couponing, I have always shared my overflow with family and friends in need. But it wasn’t until a year ago that I realized the impact that it was having on my son…

    My son has been involved in Habitat High all throughout high school. For those of you unfamiliar it is a program affiliated with our local Habitat for Humanity, but consists of all high school students. In our county there are 5-6 high schools each year that work together to raise the required amount of money ($35,000 – $40,000) to build a home for a family in our county. Habitat for Humanity loves that the students raise the money themselves and provide all the work, with help from the experts at our local Habitat branch. At any rate, at the beginning of last school year, my son happened to be with me at Publix on Wednesday – Penny Item Day – and noticed that I wasn’t going to get the Penny Item, which happened to be Publix toilet paper. Now since couponing, I have become less brand loyal, but I still hold tight to my Cottonelle brand, so I was going to pass that week’s Penny item up. But my son, said to me, “Mom, we may not use it, but the Habitat family could.” And so began our mission to fill the pantry of the Habitat home that he would take part in building. That was the end of last August and seven months later by the time of the home dedication in March of this year, we had accumulated four large laundry baskets overflowing with food, cleaning supplies, and health and beauty items, plus an additional box of items. My son even had the idea to write to the company that my husband works for (Oreck) to ask for a brand new vacuum cleaner to donate to the family. He was quick to remind them that this was a great opportunity to give back to the very community in which they reside. Of course, they were happy to help. In the end, all these products only cost me about $30 – $40. It was a great feeling because the young men getting the home were two young brothers, not much older than my son, one of which is confined to a wheelchair, and they have lost both parents. Yet they still have managed to finish high school and find work. They were so appreciative. It was a great feeling that didn’t come to me because of their appreciation (although, that was part of it). It was the pride that I felt for my son, who recognized the need and was compassionate enough to do something about it. He was more excited to share with these young men than they were to receive the items – well, maybe not, it was probably a toss up!

    Anyway, we couponing moms that take the time to share our bounty with others pass along a great lesson to our children. I am a mother of an only child – a son – who I didn’t think cared or paid any attention to my couponing or shopping trips…until that day in Publix when he reminded me that if we don’t need an item that we can get for free or just pennies, that someone else in our community probably does. This was something that I already knew, but thought he didn’t even notice or was even the least bit interested. It was a great reminder that we must always “Walk the talk” and not just speak the words.

    • Laurie says:

      I just emailed you Angie, ;) but what an incredible story! I love (love, love, LOVE!), that your son already understands that there are those in need, and that he can be the one to do something to help them. That’s amazing! Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, and for inspiring us to continue to give not only to bless others, but to model for our children a lifestyle of giving. BLESSINGS!!! :)

  7. Mara says:

    I love this Laurie! Way to go – what an inspiration and a good reminder, too. You have challenged me to take a good look at the freebies this week and in the coming weeks and stock up whatever I can for those in need!

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