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In light of tragic events in Connecticut, I would like to share a quote that has gone viral on social media sites: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers - so many caring people in this world.”

This quote has been shared almost a million times as people struggle to cope with the horrible loss of life. It comes from Fred Rogers, the man affectionately known to my generation as Mister Rogers. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was nearly a daily staple in my home growing up, and the lessons that I learned from that show have shaped the adult that I am and how I see the world.

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood taught me how to treat others with kindness and respect and to live together in peace with people who may be different than I am. His show is greatly missed in today’s world.

Rogers tells us to look for the helpers. But even more importantly, he tells us not to let one person or event shake our faith. When events such as this school shooting happen, many people feel overwhelmed and frightened. If we let the fear win, then we risk losing our hope and faith. His quote makes us realize that we can all do something to help and to make sure that others realize that there are far more people who care than ones who don’t.

The reason I shared this is because one of the reasons I began couponing was a way to do more with our blessings.

My couponing began after my husband and I had completed a course called Financial Peace University and we had made a goal to be completely debt free. The Financial Peace course is a 12-week Bible-based finance course taught by financial author and radio host Dave Ramsey. In his lesson on giving, Ramsey says that you are “to live like no one else, so you can give like no one else.”

When I first began couponing for my family, it was a way to for me to contribute to our income even though I was a stay-at-home mom. We quickly realized, however, that couponing allowed us to collect extra products for giving. Even though our larger goal was to save money, we realized smart couponing allowed us to do more with less. As a result, we were able to give more to others.

As we started paying off debts and I learned more about the couponing world, I shared my new hobby with my church pastor, who was very enthusiastic and encouraged me to share what I had learned to others. As our friends and family found out about what I was doing, they would tell their family and other friends about me and I would get requests to teach their groups, and eventually I landed at The Augusta Chronicle.

I guess you can say that my couponing career began because I wanted to help others.

In this time of tragedy, look for ways you can be a helper. Donate food to a food bank. Donate clothing to a shelter. Donate coupons, pet food, old bedding and old newspapers to an animal shelter. If you can’t give money or food, donate your time. You can start a food or clothing drive at your workplace. Take a meal to a sick neighbor.

The worst thing we can do is convince ourselves that the world’s problems are too big and we can’t do anything about them. If we do that, the bad guys have truly won. Please take a stand with me and fight back by caring about others, even strangers. This is truly the spirit of the season. Happy holidays to you and your family.

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