Daily Star photo/CRAIG HAUPERT Jenny Haden, left, and Lindsey Schrader sit among the food they and other members of the First Baptist Church of Niles raised this week.

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Extreme couponing does charity work

Published 10:48pm Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Some people use extreme couponing because they are greedy. Others do it to help the needy.
Jenny Haden, of Niles, took $139 raised by members of First Baptist Church of Niles and turned it into $380 worth of merchandise by way of extreme couponing Tuesday.
The church is donating the items to the Salvation Army of Niles, which will distribute the items to needy families in the area.
“Jenny is one of the most generous people I know,” said Jeanne Wing, First Baptist Church secretary.
“I am just so privileged to have her as part of the church.”
Haden was inspired to use super-couponing to help others after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis more than two years ago. At that time, members of the First Baptist Church of Niles came to her aid.
“If not for the church, my husband and I would not have made it,” Haden said.
“You name it and the church did it. They helped us with money, food, prayer. They took care of our kids. They took care of me. This church is my family.”
Super-couponing became Haden’s way of financially helping her husband and three children, despite being on disability. When items began piling up in her home, she began handing them out to people in her community.
She had found her calling.
“I like getting stuff for free, but I don’t like having it around the house. Why do I need 25 bottles of shampoo?” Haden said. “This is our community and people are hungry. What if nobody helped me when I needed it? The last thing I want to think about is my kids being hungry.”
Haden is a member of a church class called Young Energetic Servants (YES). After hearing the Niles Salvation Army was low on donations, YES members decided to help. They sat outside the church and two local businesses on Sunday collecting nonperishable food items and cash donations.
“I was surprised with how much support we got,” said Lindsey Schrader, a member of YES. “It was amazing what we were able to collect in a week.
“The people here were so giving.”
With permission from the church, Haden and her husband, Phil, hit the grocery store with the $139 in cash donations. They emerged with three carts full of $380 worth of merchandise.
Haden said all the members of the YES class played a large role in securing donations.
“This was a group effort,” she said.

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