It’s no secret that Mother Nature is throwing several temper tantrums right now. The Hurricane Harvey devastation is heartbreaking! Originally it was supposed to head right for my part of Texas but he got lost along the way and never made it here. This is the one time I am very grateful a “man” did NOT stop for directions! I only wish he would have just turned himself around and gone home instead. My town did not suffer any damages from him but many of my family/friends along the coast (and other surrounding areas) are STILL suffering. The images are horrifying.
Now Irma is on her way and if I heard the news anchor correctly, her boyfriend Jose will be along soon!
Oh yeah, and there are some wicked fires lighting up the sky on the west side of this country as well! Have you seen those images?
I have been trying to figure out a way PC and I could help. We can’t afford to donate a lot of money. And even if we did, who would we donate to and how do we know the money would go directly to the victims? I apologize if my pessimism bothers you. But I knew I had to do something!
Disclaimer: This post contains ZERO affiliate links. I have no relationship with any of the companies or products I mention. I will not be paid or compensated in any way.
What did I do?
Well, there is this nifty little store around the corner from my house called the 99 cent store! I am practically a VIP in this building. I don’t know what PC and I would have done without this store. It was my go to for all of the little things we needed when moving into this house. One day I got a notification on my phone from an app called “Nextdoor”. I love this app. I mostly use it when I see a stray pet or if I’m looking for local recommendations but it offers neighborhoods the chance to stay in touch even those of us who have never met. A local contractor posted on the app saying he was planning on making a trip to a few of the locations in need with supplies and wanted to collect donations from the community. Even though I couldn’t do much I felt like it was worth doing something. I ran to the 99 cent store, grabbed as many items as I could and dropped them off at the designated location. On my way home, I stopped at CVS and got stuck in line behind one of those extreme couponers. Here are the thoughts that went through my mind while I waited…
“Ugh, I’m so ready to be home. Did I forget anything? No, this is all I came here for. I should grab a drink, I’m thirsty. Goodness, this is taking forever. Oh, she is one of those crazy coupon ladies. That’s why. Wait, what am I complaining about? I am one of those crazy coupon ladies. Coupons!!!”
Bingo. That’s where you come in!
The one thing everyone can do to help:
There ya go.
That’s the big secret.
Now run with it…
Okay, I’ll help ya out with some ideas.
- Collect all of the coupons you receive at home (if any). From your Sunday paper to the junk mail you don’t even look at before tossing in the trash… There is usually at least one B1G1 free in there. Find the ones for products you already use in your own home. You will literally be spending ZERO extra dollars at the store! Even one donated shampoo bottle helps! This is a very good way for people with limited resources to help out.
- Don’t overlook the other coupons either. B1G1 50% off is still a good deal, sometimes it’s a great deal. At the bottom of this post, I will add a list of couponing abbreviations that might help you decide which deals are possible for you to do.
- Have you gotten to know your neighbors yet? Walk around your neighborhood and ask your neighbors to join in. Or ask them to donate their unused coupons to you. It never hurts to ask!
- If you need help with couponing and don’t be shy if you do, search for couponing groups on Facebook. They can be very helpful! To get the very best deal, couponing generally takes up quite a bit of time, which is why I am only a part time extreme couponer. Well, that and my horrible math skills keep getting in the way 😉
- Don’t want to do any extra shopping at all? Donate your coupons. If you happen to live in one of the affected states this one might be easier for you. Coupons are store specific. Which means the victims in Alabama may not benefit from my HEB coupons. Does Alabama have an HEB? I dunno…So maybe do a little research before relying on this one.
- Check your pantry. Are you an extreme couponer? Do you have 20 tubes of toothpaste sitting in your stockpile? Well, then this will be an easy way for you to help. You’ve already done the “heavy lifting”. Also, can you post a link in my comments section about how you manage this couponing thing???? I would be most grateful. Moving on…
Things to keep in mind:
- Finding the right place to take your donations might be a challenge as well. Call around to find out who is taking donations or maybe where you can mail them to. I will provide a list of organizations I would personally recommend at the bottom of this post but this is really up to you.
- If you do find a good place to make donations, remember to ask them WHAT they need. Everywhere I checked told me they no longer needed clothes, and probably wouldn’t need them for a long while. That seems to be the first thing people choose to donate. I was told they needed personal care items (toothpaste. shampoo, conditioner, soap…etc), baby items (diapers, wipes, baby powder, baby food, formula…), blankets, towels, and non-perishable foods.
- Anything helps! Seriously, if you know your donation will definitely make it to the victims, ONE donated item matters just as much as a box of items. The child who gets a fresh diaper because of your donation of ONE pack of diapers will thank you. And so will his/her parents!
- Still not sure what you can donate? Take a second and imagine if you were in their shoes. I mean, literally, imagine water rising so high in your front yard that your vehicle is almost completely covered. Or imagine if it started storming at your home and the power went out. Then 12 hours later you realize the power will NOT be restored until next week. Or that the authorities are at your door telling you there is now a mandatory evacuation in effect. Now, What are the top 10/20 things you would grab while being rushed out of your home? Phone charger? Batteries? Flashlight? Any one of those top 10/20 things would likely make a great donation.
Okay, here are the lists I promised.
I hope this post was helpful to at least one person. And if none of the ideas work for you, you can always add a few minutes to your prayers! If you are in one of the affected, or soon to be affected areas, please get out if you can! And know that Texas is praying for your safety!
Have a blessed weekend.