How to Donate your coupons
Support Our Troops
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Greener couponing by DONATING!
So, in the last hub we looked at ways of reducing our couponing hobby's carbon footprint. We looked at ways to reduce the amount of paper we used, reuse the paper we were using, and recycle the paper we no longer had any use for. Now what?
Now we talk about all those expired or unused coupons! For unused coupons, you always have your friends/co-workers and trading groups. You have an outlet for cat coupons when you don't have cats or diaper coupons with no baby booties around to fill them. If trading is not an option for you, then there is always DONATION.
I would like to introduce you to Troopons -- Coupons for Troops. The Support our Troops coupon program helps our military families stationed overseas. While their base markets are treated as 'American' ground and they get some benefits, the cost is still affecting our troops and their families overseas. They do not have the ability to receive a newspaper with manufacturer coupons. Thankfully, this program allows them the use of expired coupons for a limited time after expiration. Through this program, we are able to help them offset the cost of living which is often made worse by the exchange rate. They are paid in American dollars but live in foreign lands with foreign currency. Not every need can be met on the base so they have to go out and loose money to the exchange rate. In England, for example, the Troopon site shows that our dollar is viewed only as $0.65! As couponers we know the feeling of leaving a coupon home when we could have saved 35 more cents. Imagine it being a daily habit on every dollar spent! This example was on the low end of the example shown on the site.
While there is no tax benefit to this style of donation, there is no huge expense related either. The only real cost is that of shipping. About once a month, my daughter and I reuse a shipping envelope or small box, fill it with any expired manufacturer coupons, and mail it the most inexpensive way available as recommended by the site. It has been $5 or less for us. Want to lower the cost, consider group mailing. The packages will be bigger, but the cost is less per participant. By doing this together with my daughter, I am teaching her the importance of giving. That alone is extremely valuable in a highly commercial society.
So, how do you do it?
To start, you may want to save a few of those envelopes you get in your junk mail. Store some of these in the front and back of your coupon binders and filers. You already have a ritual of adding new coupons and removing expired coupons. Just change on step. Instead of reaching for the recycle bin or trash can, just toss the coupon in one of the envelopes. Very simple! Then choose one day of each month to combine them and mail them. It can't get any easier!
In writing this hub, I learned a few more details about the program. I have been donating through a local organization called the Simple Truth Foundation. I simply mail my coupons to them at P.O.Box 618343, Orlando FL. 32861. If you want to do nothing more than what I mentioned above, this is the address you will need. I had no idea that they were doing so much for me!
Things to know:
- Manufacturer coupons only. They can be blinkies, peelies, any type as long as they say manufacturer.
- They have to be clipped. This will save you on shipping anyway. More paper means more weight means more shipping costs!
- Expired coupons must be mailed within 2 months of expiration. This gives the troops time to use the program. They can't take last years coupons guys! :)
- Not tax deductible, but other than volunteering time, can be the highest yielding/most cost effective donation.
- no online forgeries! If you didn't print it off your computer, don't send it!
(keep an eye out for a hub coming on coupon forgery!)
To send them direct you will need to use this mailing address: Support Our Troops P.O.Box 70 Daytona Beach Fl. 32115-0070. You will also have to separate the grocery coupons from everything else. Using a bag in the same package is recommended for separating. You don't have to mail more than one package.
Trust me, being a former Troop member, I know there is nothing that can be appreciated more than something that makes their life easier. Something like this really screams support and gratitude! I used to love the care packages and the letters written by kids.
Many Blessings & Thanks for sharing!
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