Dallas, Luzerne County -- It's a pile of non-perishable food and personal hygiene products in the lobby of the Banks Student Life Center at Misericordia University. It's all going to area food pantries. Unlike many food drives, this effort didn't require students to bring in bags and bags of food donations. Instead, members of the newly formed club Misericordia University Campus Clippers rounded up coupons. "People just don't realize how much you can do with coupons and it's just amazing that we could get all this stuff for charity," said sophomore Megan Mirra of Dallas who is a club member. MU Campus Clippers president and senior Aaron Orchard of Belvidere, NJ added, "It's just really awesome that college kids are learning the power of coupons and applying that to real charities that need help."
The club managed to purchase $1,772.40 worth of goods for charity. And it cost them less than $10 out of pocket to do it. To get a windfall deal like that, you've got to use some strategy. "You get a manufacturer's coupon and then a store coupon and then base it off of a store deal," said Ms. Mirra. The Misericordia University Campus Clippers, about 30 of them, did it the old fashioned way by clipping coupons from the Sunday paper. But they also went high tech going on line and printing out many more coupons.
Among the area organizations benefitting from the effort is Back Mountain Food Pantry. It helps roughly 160 families in the Back Mountain area on a regular basis. Back Mountain Food Pantry manager Carol Eyet is blown away by the coupon clipping club's charitable actions. "People that age have so much on their plate really with their school and everything else, it's always rewarding to have them pick us as a charity that they help." Mr. Orchard added, "A lot of people only think that food pantries only need donations during Thanksgiving or Christmas but they operate all year long." And they'll continue operating thanks in part to these students who are taking the art of extreme couponing to the max.
The Misericordia University Campus Clippers say they'll continue their charitable work each month throughout the fall and spring semesters.