Slipping Through the Cracks

You hear it all over the news. Our nation is struggling. Our economy is struggling. Our neighbors are struggling. Times are tough. That might be why you are reading this very post on a couponing blog. The big stories are the ones you hear about, and rightfully so. The Stockdale’s struggles or the family that lost everything in a house fire or the father killed in a car accident. The newsworthy stories get attention. They generate community support, see donation money and most affected by these tragedies see this outpouring of love and support and have a renewed sense of hope.

What about the Average Joe? What about our friends and neighbors and co-workers struggling with job loss and personal tragedy? Their struggles may not be newsworthy, but they cause just as much grief, just as much pain. But you rarely hear about them. And often times those people suffer in silence.

The blogging community, notably the coupon blogging community, is a powerful thing. I have been touched by the kindness of our readers; by their generosity and their strength. And so we come to you today and ask you to help a family that has fallen through the cracks.

Many of you know Crissie. She is one of our readers. You probably know her because of her willingness to help others and to share with strangers. What you might not know is the private struggle her family is facing right now. After her husband lost his job, they are raising a family of 7 on next to nothing. Plus, they have been dealt many personal blows in the past year that I do not wish upon my worst enemy. But, she is not a charity case. Quite the contrary. When many would throw their hands up, Crissie has chosen a different path.

To take their lemons and make lemonade, she and her husband have chosen to return to school and better their education. That was the reason she had so many of you furiously clicking on the Madsen bike to better her odds of winning one in their contest. The bike would play a pivotal role in carting their children around campus as they trade off between classes. The contest is over, and although the winner was truly deserving, sadly Crissie did not win. And so we would like to fix that. We would like to buy her that bike, and hopefully renew her faith in humanity (although from everything I have seen, it was never lost)!

I know many who would normally give the shirt off your back can no longer afford to buy the shirt to begin with. So we are not asking for any monetary donations. We are excited to tell you we are hosting the first ever Pay It Forward Garage Sale. We are seeking your items. Do you have items you have been meaning to drop off at Goodwill? Have you been collecting a pile for the Arc to pick up? Well, why don’t you let us pick up your stuff instead?

On August 1st (more details coming soon), we will gather all donated items and, coupled with the bake sale of the century (you are welcome to donate cookies too!), aim to raise not only enough to buy Crissie that fantastic bike, but hopefully enough to help other families in similar situations. Every last penny raised will be donated.

So step one is to go dig through your closets, your boxes in storage, your garage, and find some items you are willing to give up for a great cause. Then, email us to let us know where to pick the stuff up (or we can tell you where to drop it off if you would like). Next, spread the word and mark August 1st on your calendars. We want this to be HUGE! We want to help the largest number of families possible.

And finally, we need to hear about these families falling through the cracks. Email us their (or your) stories. What are they struggling with? How can we help?

Let’s come together as couponers, as neighbors, as friends and help out one (and hopefully many) of our own.

(ps. Crissie, you are not allowed to say no. It’s a done deal!)

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