As a veteran with children and other family members who have served or are currently serving their country, it’s always a treat when I can write about a program that can enhance the life of a military family. I’ve written in the past about the E-mail Our Military program that mails “Holiday Love” packages to service members for a $5.00 contribution, and it’s a pleasure to find another program that helps our military stretch their ever-shrinking dollar.
The Overseas Coupon Program enables individuals, families or organizations to collect unused and expired coupons and send them to a military base overseas for distribution to soldiers and their families. The vast majority of us simply discard coupons once they have expired, but what many do not know is that military commissaries overseas are allowed to use those coupons up to six months after their expiration date. Having spent 13 years living in Germany, I can tell you that it is NOT cheap and that every penny a soldier can save is a blessing, and this program does much to help them save all they can.
To participate in the program, all you need to do is go to the OCP web site, look at the list of bases that are currently accepting coupons for their soldiers (not all are), and “adopt” one. Then you follow their instructions on how to collect, package and mail the coupons, then send them off to some needy and appreciative servicemembers. Millions of dollars in unused and expired coupons are thrown away every year, and I can think of no better way to ensure they fulfill their intended purpose that to see that they find their way into a soldier’s hands. With very little effort, you can show your support for our military, and help to make their lives just a little better.
In case you’re wondering, the cost to mail coupons overseas is like mailing them to a friend in another state; it requires no international postage and can be done using a Priority Mail envelope from your local post office. I recommend that you read the instructions on the OCP web site before mailing your coupons, as they give many good tips to help make the process go as smoothly as possible.
UPDATE: Since we published this post, we have been inundated with envelopes from people wanting us to send their expired coupons to service members overseas. Unfortunately, we have become so backed up with mailings that we can no longer accept any more coupons. We thank you for your outstanding response and appreciate your understanding.
We hope you’ll join us in helping provide our servicemembers overseas with the chance to put a little bit more food on their table!