Jessica - posted on 03/11/2009 ( 1 mom has responded )
Hey everyone! So I read this really great article on this website, and its called Operation Epiration. I will include the full article but basically, instead of throwing away your expired coupons, military famillies overseas can use them for up to 6 months past the coupon expiration date. Great way to help out the troops. Here is the article, thought it might be nice to pass around if anyone is wondering of things they can do to help out military families.
The Supermarket Shopper
Operation Expiration: Update on Expired Coupons for the Military
by Stephanie Nelson
A few months ago I shared that we are working to revive the wonderful initiative that Martin Sloane started years ago to encourage readers of this column to send expired grocery coupons to overseas military bases. Overseas military base stores actually accept grocery coupons up to a full six months after their expiration date. Martin had a full list of military bases that distributed grocery coupons to families. Unfortunately, after heightened security measures post 9/11, many of those addresses are not complete enough to ensure delivery of coupons to families who need them.
I contacted other websites that promote this effort, spoke to the post office, and read emails from readers who had researched the subject as well. We all learned that in order to have a package of coupons accepted by an overseas military base, we had to have the full name of a person on the base to distribute them, as well as the address. Otherwise, the person who took the time to package the coupons and pay the postage costs to send them would have them returned. I certainly heard from frustrated readers about that!
Then out of the blue I received an email from a man named Thomas Leugers stationed at an overseas military base. He explained that their base received many grocery coupon packages in the past but never did anymore. He asked how they could begin getting coupons again. I was thrilled to hear from a new contact, so I emailed Thomas back to get his permission to share his name and address. He agreed, and I posted his information in the “Help Others Easily” section of the Coupon Mom website (www.couponmom.com). You can send coupon packages to: “Thomas Leugers USAG-UD CMR 419 box 1467 apo ae 09102” and you can reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The great news is that some readers have sent Thomas coupons! Last week I asked Thomas via email if he had received any more coupons. He responded: “We have started receiving coupon packages. I have received some emails from people thinking other people have sent coupons and maybe we don't need anymore, but I tell them that's not the case and it's an ongoing project. Thanks so much for thinking of us. We really appreciate all you are trying to do to help us. Most people do not realize that we can use the expired coupons and it shows there are so many kind people out there in this world.”
I shared this story on a radio program recently, and the program host decided to take the cause on as well. He gave the program a clever name: “Operation Expiration.” We taped a few radio interviews and announcements explaining what the need was, how important it is that we support our troops in this way, and told listeners where to find the mailing address information. The radio program airs in Albany, New York and the owner of the station was so pleased with the concept that he shared the idea with all of their company’s radio stations across the country. They are playing the taped announcements in many cities. We’re working to spread the word in every way we can.
I like this idea for several reasons. First, it helps our military families who are serving our country and making many sacrifices in the process. Second, it is an inexpensive way to provide real financial value to other families. Third, it is an excellent way to teach hands-on, charitable giving to children. Youth groups, Scout groups, school classes, and families could make cutting coupons a project. Organizing them by category in envelopes would be even more helpful for the military base families. If your family, civic group or youth group is looking for a meaningful service project, please consider “Operation Expiration” this year.