“I just think that if everybody could give what they can when they can, the world would be a better place.”
I couldn’t agree more, but Janice Bristow takes her giving to a whole new level. She works at it, but she assures me it doesn’t take a lot of her time.
What’s her secret? Couponing! Her family always couponed, so she was no stranger to the process, but when she started to find deals on items that she’d never use, she had a brainwave.
Why not get the products, which she often can for free (yes, free), and give them to people who need them? Now she and her sister, Sheila, make this a regular practice. It’s not just a Christmas thing, either. They do it all year round.
The most they’ve saved on items to donate? Get this. For their church’s Thanksgiving food drive, the girls got all of what you see in this pic for $64.00, which retail would have cost close to $730.00! Always on the lookout for a deal, they acquired this haul over time to deliver for the holiday.
Recipients vary from their church to their local food bank, women’s shelter, youth shelter, and even the Humane Society. Janice also works in long-term care, so she’ll sometimes share items with the residents there, as well. And most recently, in their hometown of Collingwood, Ontario, Canada, an “Out of the Cold” program started, offering 12 beds to homeless individuals on cold winter nights. Food is mostly being donated from local restaurants and grocery stores, but Janice and Sheila are contributing with personal items like deodorant, toothpaste/toothbrushes, etc.
“It’s about knowing your prices, and it’s about knowing the rules of couponing and stores.”
As for those stores, she assures me they aren’t losing out.
“They’re not going bankrupt because of me.”
Oh sure, there are other folks out there working the couponing gig to save on items they don’t need, but they’re doing it to sell them and make a profit. Not Janice and Sheila.
“There are people out there who don’t have shampoo to wash their hair. Or if they buy the shampoo, maybe they can’t buy milk. That’s kind of where I’m coming from. If I can give them the shampoo, it gives them maybe $10.00 extra dollars to spend on food.”
Janice is also generous with her knowledge. She’s taught classes on couponing (including how to not spend a lot of time on this), and she’s available to answer questions through her Facebook page that’s dedicated to the practice. It’s all about paying it forward.
“Maybe you only have $10.00 that you can give, but that’s $10.00 from me this week and $10.00 from you next week, and it all adds up. There are people way less fortunate than I am, and if you can help somebody up a little bit, it might just make the difference in their week, their year, whatever.”
To further quote this amazing woman, “A little kindness goes a long way.”
It most certainly does.
You can listen to Janice’s interview HERE or on iHeart Radio, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or where your favorite podcasts live.