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Clipping coupons for a cause

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 8th, 2013

Kathy Clark of Mendota clips coupons for military personnel and their families serving overseas. Clark, a member of the Marine Corps League Auxiliary, sends out stuffed packages of manufacturers' coupons every two months or so to a Marine Corps base in Iwakuna, Japan. The project is part of the Overseas Coupon Program, a charitable project that helps military families stretch their food dollars. (Reporter photo by Bonnie Morris)

MENDOTA - Today, many families have turned to clipping coupons to stretch their spending dollars. But the need to save money is even greater for military families serving overseas where food prices are inflated, noted Kathy Clark of Mendota.

Clark knows first hand of the budget constraints on the military family. While not stationed overseas, she and her husband John, a retired Marine corporal with the U.S. Marine Corps during the mid-1970s, had to budget his small salary to make ends meet. "Coupons would have really helped," she stated.

So when she recently heard about the Overseas Coupon Program, Clark immediately began clipping coupons.

The Overseas Coupon Program assists military families by forwarding manufacturers' coupons to overseas military bases. The coupons are then placed at on-base stores know as exchange posts, or handed out to military families on the base. The redeemed coupons help the families save valuable dollars and stretch their budget.

Although the OCP website, www.ocpnet.org, is run entirely by volunteers and not updated frequently, information on the program, its history, and a list of overseas military bases is available.

While the program is not a tax-deductible charity, it is considered a patriotic charity. Passing along your unused coupons can help support a service person and their family. "Every little dollar helps when you're in the service," stated Clark.

Since August of 2012, Clark has mailed $42,000 worth of manufacturers' coupons to the Marine Corps base in Japan.

Clark is now looking for others to help her with her cause. Anyone wishing to donate coupons can start sending them to her at 301 7th Ave., Mendota IL 61342.

For the complete article see the 01-09-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 01-09-2013 paper.

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