As the recent hurricanes have left many families in need of basic supplies, yet unable to get them, it has been inspiring to see an outpouring of support from communities. Many people have been both raising money and donating essentials to those in need.
But one woman is using her amazing coupon skills to get those supplies at huge discounts.
Kimberly Gager, from San Antonio, Texas, has been a self-professed coupon addict for five years now. But only recently has she found the perfect use for her skills: Shopping on behalf of hurricane victims.
“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,'” Gager explained to CBS News.
The aftermath of Harvey hit close to home for Gager, whose life was derailed by Hurricane Floyd in 1999.
“It was horrific. I lost everything in the flood,” she recalled to ABC News. “I was looking at all the stories and pictures of houses and everything under water in Harvey and knew I had to do something.”
Gager knew how much simple, basic supplies would have meant to her back then.
“Something as small as a bottle of body wash, stick of deodorant or a tube of toothpaste,” she said.
“I know how that felt during Hurricane Floyd, and people are so grateful for that.”
Grager got the idea when she saw dozens of posts from people looking for baby items, and she realized she had many coupons she would never use.
“I said, you know what? I can put these coupons to good use,” she told ABC. “I don’t have babies, so I usually throw those away.”
“I can go buy this stuff for them.”
Grager put the word out on Facebook, offering to buy supplies on victims’ behalf—offering to save some serious money in the process, thanks to her price-cutting coupons.
She expected a few friends to answer, but was overwhelmed by the response she received.
Soon she welcomed strangers to come her home, that’s when they started showing up at her door to pick up necessities.
“It kind of blew up,” she told CBS.
Grager soon started receiving donations from the community to help buy the supplies.
Every day, she’s been clipping, taking daily shopping trips, and even using her lunch break for deliveries. After Hurricane Irma hit, she offered her services to evacuees in the Texas area.
Grager is happy to help and put her skills towards a good cause—but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy task.
“Sometimes I’m delivering until 1 or 2 a.m.,” Gager told CBS. “It’s really becoming a second job. I’ve gotten very little sleep.”
“I’m in that store so much now that they know my name.”
But Grager’s actions are making a real difference in people’s lives and helping them through the storm’s aftermath.
Bridget Martinez, a 30-year-old mother of five whose ceiling was collapsed by Harvey, recalled reaching out to Grager for help when she couldn’t afford necessities.
“I looked her up on Facebook, sent her a message this morning, and she responded right away. Two hours later, here she is,” Martinez recalled to ABC.
She also added that Grager, thanks to her dollar-stretching skills, was able to offer her more than the local charities.
“I’m completely grateful. I hope God blesses her in every way possible,” said Martinez.
Grager’s friends recognize it as the perfect opportunity for her—an ideal way to combine her couponing habit with her giving nature.
“I keep telling her it’s her calling and she doesn’t realize it yet,” said her friend Carolyn Wellons, who also received donations.
“You don’t even have to ask. If she hears it or feels it, it’s done.”
Grager is determined to keep going as long as she’s needed, and she even offered to give a live class on how to save big bucks while shopping.
“I don’t plan to cut it off until I know that people are OK,” she told ABC News.