It's tough to know how to help the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, each of which ravaged parts of Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean. Do you send money? Which aid foundation would be best? Of course, sending money isn't the only way to help, and Good Samaritans everywhere are coming up with better options. Like this Texas mom who is helping Hurricane Harvey victims with her epic coupon skills. Talk about ingenious.
Kimberly Gager of San Antonio, Texas is a single mother of three children who knows her way around a coupon. So when she realized many hurricane evacuees were staying in San Antonio, she decided to take action. On Aug. 29 she posted a plea to locals on Facebook to help her supply the evacuees with some essentials:
Many hurricane evacuees are asking for pampers, wipes and formula. I don't have any of that stuff in my stockpile but I have tons of coupons for them. If you want to donate and assist me with getting these items, you can send the donation to my PayPal.
Gager told CBS News:
After Harvey, I kept telling my mom, "There's something more that I need to be doing. I don't think I'm doing enough." So I put it out on Facebook.
And what a massive difference that seemed to make. As Gager prepared to put her extreme couponing skills to use, donations began flooding in; diapers, paper towels, baby wipes, deodorant. And as such, Gager began making so many trips to the store that she ended up needing to use her garage as storage.
In the two weeks since Gager took her plea to Facebook, things have "kind of blown up," as she told CBS News. Every day, she takes off early to the grocery store to stock up on essentials for the hurricane evacuees like toilet paper and paper towels.
She delivers these items in the car she refers to as her "putt putt" on her lunch break (because she somehow miraculously works a full-time job while she's not off being a Good Samaritan), and then often again late into the evening — sometimes until 1 a.m. or 2 a.m.
Gager estimated that she has made about 50 trips to Walmart, Walgreens, and Target, but it's the amount of money she has managed to save that is perhaps the most extraordinary. She has spent around $2,700 on goods worth around $5,000. That's a whole lot of toilet paper.
Gager explained to ABC News that she understands the plight of the victims; she herself was affected by Hurricane Floyd in Virginia in 1999. She told the outlet:
It was horrific. I lost everything in the flood. I was living in military housing at the time because I was in the Navy. The entire apartment complex was flooded. I was looking at all the stories and pictures of houses and everything under water in Harvey and knew I had to do something…Something as small as a bottle of body wash, stick of deodorant or a tube of toothpaste, I know how that felt during Hurricane Floyd, and people are so grateful for that.
Gager is a single mom of three kids. She is driving all over San Antonio with a car full of toilet paper, diapers, baby wipes, paper towel... and no one asked her to do any of it. But the people she is helping are most certainly grateful.
Bridget Martinez, a woman whose home was severely damaged, told ABC News that she contacted Gager in hopes of getting some supplies. Gager got back to her immediately. According to ABC News, she said:
I looked her up on Facebook, sent her a message this morning, and she responded right away. Two hours later, here she is. I am very grateful. These are necessities that we don't have the cash for right now.
This is what makes this big old world spin around. Humans helping other humans, in any way they possibly can.
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