Originally published in Charisma News
Extreme couponing is certainly one way for families to save a boatload of cash, but for one mom it has also become an avenue to help feed tens of thousands of hungry mouths.
Through her motto, “Love God. Love Others. Serve the World,” Lauren Puryear is making a difference in the lives of scores of Americans. According to Scary Mommy, Puryear, a mental health clinician who resides in Woodbridge, Virginia, decided last year — then aged 29 — that she wanted to feed 30 000 people before her 30th birthday.
So, she set out on a quest to use couponing as the avenue to make that goal a reality.
No plans of stopping
Flash forward just one year and Puryear, who clips coupons and shops in bulk, has provided 30 158 meals (and counting), and she’s still six months away from her 30th birthday; she told Scary Mommy [a blog] that she has no plans of stopping now.
“After I couponed for 50 jars of Ragu sauce and 100 boxes of Barilla pasta all for free, I knew I was going to make a difference in the world,” Puryear told the outlet. “I will keep on feeding until then and see what number I can get up to. Maybe 300 000!”
Believe it or not, Puryear said last year that she’s able to feed as many as 150 people on just $20, depending on the level of couponing and the items she’s seeking, NJ.com reported.
“There are coupons in the Sunday paper, or online that you can print … so I collect as many as I can, match them to the store and that is how I am able to get the items for free,” Puryear said at the time.
Through extreme couponing and Puryear’s organisation For the Love of Others, which she started in 2012, she has travelled the east coast, delivering food and essentials to shelters and individuals in need. Her entire operation is based on biblical principles.
Experiencing Christ’s love through others
“For the Love Of Others, LLC is based off the biblical scripture John 13:34-35, which states, ‘A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another,’” a description reads. “Our vision is a world in which every person attains the right to experience the love of Christ by seeing it demonstrated in others.”
And while Puryear has been travelling around and feeding the homeless, she said she also noticed that there are working individuals at or below the poverty line who have also needed assistance. So, she’s launching a new initiative — Push Past Poverty — to help educate people with information about couponing and other related tools.
Puryear said her quest to help others was birthed from her grandmother, who always encouraged her to be a light to others. Now, she’s teaching the same lesson to her 6-year-old son, who she said has grown into “a little humanitarian.”
“He’s learned that helping others should be a part of our everyday lives, and learned the importance of not throwing food away. I hope he’ll continue to help others throughout his life however he sees fit,” she said. “He also learned how to coupon — which he loves.”