Scissors on pile of couponsStudents in FAM 402, Issues in Family Resource Management, took part in a unique learning experience this fall. With funding through the Charles E. Barnhart Fund for Excellence, Dr. Jennifer Hunter, Associate Professor, implemented the “Couponing for a Cause” project.

On the first day of the fall semester, Dr. Hunter initiated this semester long project. The class was divided into 5 groups of 7 people, and each selected a local non-profit organization. Groups worked with the Hope Center, Arbor Youth Services, Child Advocacy Center, My Sister's House, and One Parent Scholar House. Each group was in charge of coordinating a time to volunteer for three hours at their assigned non-profit. After they volunteered, they did a needs assessment with a staff member and determined what items could be purchased to benefit the organization. The goal was for each group to look for coupons for the items on the non-profit’s wish list and purchase as much as they could with a $100 budget.

Annie Farkas, a senior in Family Sciences said, “I loved working with my group to coupon for One Parent Scholar House. We worked well as a team and were able to save $64.69, stretching our $100.00 budget beyond my expectations. This project was not only beneficial for One Parent because we were able to purchase personal hygiene items for the families in need, but also for me because I was able to learn about new couponing techniques and serve others at the same time.”

After the groups presented their final reports during their last class meeting, Dr. Hunter announced that as a collective class, the groups saved over $250 using coupons. Dr. Hunter stated, “The take away from the ‘Couponing for a Cause’ experience was that the purpose of the assignment was much more than simply couponing. The purpose was to teach the students how to budget, find great deals, give back to the community and work with clientele that many will be serving in their future career path.”