“It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” ~ Mother Teresa
I am so excited and honored to be a part of this incredible campaign 'Couponing for Good' with All You Magazine and Champions for Kids. For the month of March, we are spreading the message that you can use coupons to do a lot of good and positively impact the lives of children in your communities!
We had a great twitter party on Thursday night with Champions for Kids (#AllYouCFK) - there were so many amazing ideas on how to use Coupons for Good! I was also tasked with using coupons to purchase items to donate to children in my community. I decided to put together gift boxes on behalf of the incredible 501(c) 3 non-profit Enchanted Makeovers, and I will be donating them to a local shelter for women and children.
Since Enchanted Makeovers mission is to uplift the human spirit, I didn't want to fill a cart with 'necessities' only. I know necessities are important, but our creative and spiritual needs are equally so. Also, handmade items carry the love and hope of the creator to the recipient, and since crafters from around the country donate handmade items for children to EM, I reached out to Terry Grahl (the founder/visionary of EM) to see if she had any extra handmade items I could include in the blue polka dot gift boxes that I will be putting together next week for the shelter.
I was in luck! She had capes so each child can wear a unique cape and be his/her own 'superhero', and handmade pillowcases! I opted to write a shopping list of things that could go with these items, including bubbles, crayons, & blank paper so the children can use their imaginations to create their own superhero coloring book, and journals & story books to keep by their bedside.
I also decided to create a "Wellness Box" with items that are all my children's favorites when it comes to personal care! I gathered my newspapers, All You magazine, and inserts and went on a hunt for coupons! I didn't want to just purchase 'anything' for the children in the shelter, so by picking out our family favorites, I felt an immediate connection to the children we will be donating the items to, and we will write a letter explaining why we chose each item to go in the gift box...By the way, I love Walmart because they will match any coupon, so I cut coupons from all of the stores knowing Walmart would honor them! Yes, it's the best place to go coupon shopping!
I found coupons for LuLu and Little Man's favorite Suave shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, their Flintstone Vitamins and Lil' Critters Calcium Gummy Chews, and then a supercool coupon for a Star Wars lightsaber toothbrush (which I know my brother would have LOVED when we were little, so I think a 7 year old boy would definitely appreciate it!!).
I decided I would also put together a 'Baby Box' for the shelter, and found a coupon for Johnson's baby lotion, which I adored when the munchkins were babies. And, of course, there were coupons for diapers that I know are always useful. I cut out a bunch of coupons, put them in an envelope, and listed the coupons on the front of the envelope (which is very helpful when coupon shopping so you have a list AND you don't forget what coupons you have!!)...
Off me, LuLu and the Little Man went to Walmart set with coupons, a list, and a mission! I decided to get a big cart so they could stretch out in the back and we'd still have room for all of our stuff!
We filled the cart quickly with the vitamins, toothbrushes, Suave kids shampoo, conditioner, & body wash. We also found a coupon for TreSemme' (which I loved in high school!) - perfect for the older kids in the shelter, and at under $2.00 a bottle - definitely worth it! And, we even ran into a family friend, Susan while looking for Johnson's Baby Lotion!! LuLu had the camera at that point, so Susan was caught in action shopping, too!
We grabbed the diapers, and next we were off to find the Clean & Clear Bodywash. I had a $1.00 off coupon so it seemed like a good find for the tweens. But, sometimes, you have to know when to coupon and when to bargain shop. I noticed the Clean & Clear was $4.97, and right next to it was White Rain body wash for just 97cents! I opted to get 3 bottles of the White Rain as opposed to just 1 of the Clean & Clear!
We were feeling good about all of the finds, and the next stop: Creativity and Imagination! We went to the crayon aisle, and although I couldn't find coupons, I can always count on a great bargain price at Walmart - they had 24 crayons for just 47cents a pack!! We grabbed 15 of them and some blank white notebooks to go with the Superhero Capes!
I decided to peruse the craft aisles, and found the CLEARANCE section!! Woohoo!! I could not believe the incredible finds here - adorable picnic style paper for just 75 cents and inspiring pocket journals 3 for 65 cents!! I grabbed 15 journals and 5 packets of paper smiling ear to ear...
As we headed to the checkout, I saw the Dollar Station - there were all kinds of neat items, including puzzles. Both of my kids love puzzles, not only are they fun for them, but they challenge their little minds, too. I figured this would be good to add for the shelter's common areas. I picked up 6 puzzles with robots and ladybugs and had to pry them out of LuLu and the Little Man's hands
So, now we were really about to check out until I saw a bin filled with DVDs that said $5.00 . I figured we'd just take a quick peek, and what to my wondering eyes appeared - one of my favorite childhood books , 'Where the Wild Things Are' in movie form!! I had to get this for the shelter for a movie day with the children!! I will call ahead, and see if we can all watch the movie together - I'm sure miss LuLu and the Little Man will love it, too!!
We went to the register with the envelope filled with coupons that ending up saving me 20% off of the total purchase price!!! That is pretty darn good, AND, I know this shop has already done a lot of good for me & my kiddies, and will do more good once we put the gift boxes together for the children in the shelter! When we help others, we heal our own hearts, too.
I will post again next week when we put together the packages, along with the handmade goodies, and we deliver them to the shelter! If you want to see the whole Google+ Album, CLICK HERE!
Champions for Kids works to mobilize MILLIONS of people by providing training and resources to improve the lives of children in communities across America and beyond. Our goal is to mobilize 20 Million people by 2020.
Please Note: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias ...Of course, all opinions are my own and I strongly believe in all organizations mentioned