“Our local VFW chapter has been collecting coupons for quite some time now. You can just drop the coupons off and they take care of sending them to the bases. I have personally taken the VFW more $6,000 worth of coupons in the past year and I still drop them off every month. It’s so easy to help.”
Isn’t that incredible? One reader put thousands of dollar’s worth of coupons into the hands of different military families, and another spearheaded an effort that sent nearly $200,000 in coupons overseas. This is a very easy way to make a real, tangible difference in people’s lives!
Would you like to start sending your expired coupons to a military base? Here are a couple of websites to help get you started:
The Overseas Coupon Program www.ocpnet.org
One of the largest and longest-running websites spearheading the coupons-to-military effort, the OCP has excellent, step by step information on how to sort and package coupons and how to choose a base to send them to.
Coupons to Troops www.couponstotroops.com
Coupons to Troops has great information on how to sort and mail both expired and unexpired coupons to troops, with lists of both overseas bases and organizations within the United States that collect and ship coupons.
To send coupons overseas, you have the option of choosing Parcel Post, which is slow but less expensive, or Priority Mail. Donating coupons this way means you pay for postage, but it’s a wonderful way to help those serving our country save money.
To prepare coupons for shipping, both sites advise sorting them. Separate coupons into two bags, labeling them “food” and “non-food.” (Food is defined as anything that goes in your mouth, so coupons for medicine, candy and gum would also go there.) Remember that it takes time for shipped coupons to reach their destination, so don’t send coupons that are on the verge of hitting that six-months-past-expiration window. It’s better to send coupons that have been expired for two to three months so the coupons have time to arrive and to be used.
© CTW Features
Jill Cataldo, a coupon workshop instructor, writer and mother of three, never passes up a good deal. Learn more about couponing at her website, www.jillcataldo.com. Email your own couponing victories and questions to email@example.com.