Saturday, April 28, 2012

Five Things You Didn't Know About Coupons

“My Hobby became my obsession,” admits Angela Parks, or Angie, during Common Heart’s April 26 coupon class at June Bugs Childcare Development Center. Dana Hinson, who has been couponing with Angie for three years, jokingly nods her head in agreement.  The two friends taught participants how to get the most out of sales, coupons and rebates. To Angie and Dana, however, couponing is much more than just saving money. They stressed the importance of giving back to those in need – family members, neighbors, food pantries, or even the stranger checking out in front of you at the grocery store. “God will bless you back 10,000 times for any one little thing you do,” Dana said as she told the class about the relationships she has built through couponing. Angie always includes hygiene products and laundry detergent with her food pantry donations. “Pantries don’t get enough of those items…and I never donate food that I wouldn’t feed my family,” said Angie. Dana added, “That’s not the Christian way to do it.”

Among the wealth of information these coupon divas shared last month were these five takeaways:

·         Daily double - Harris Teeter, Lowe’s Food and Bi-Lo double coupons up to .99 cents every day.

·         Freebies! - companies send coupons and free samples when you comment on products you like, contact them, or subscribe to their e-mail list. 

·         Simple math - a buy one get one free in-store promotion plus a buy one get one free manufacture’s coupon equals two items for free!

·         Swipe and save - Harris Teeter offers extra savings loaded directly onto your VIC card through their e-VIC program.

·         It pays to be green - Target, Lowe’s Food and Bi-Lo take an extra .05 cents off your total for every recyclable bag you use.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Kindness Defined and or Explained

by Chuck Wall, Ph.D.
An act that positively influences the life of both the giver and the receiver is a kindness. It doesn't have to cost money or be difficult to perform. It can be spontaneous (random) or premeditated. It can be as simple as a smile or a thank you, and as complicated as starting a non-profit organization to benefit those in need.
Kindness has four working parts: dignity, respect, compassion, and humility, If you have all of these things for yourself, then you will be able to share them with others. If we reach out with dignity, respect, compassion, and humility, we are likely to feel it being returned.

Actively seeking out opportunities to assist others will naturally bring a certain amount of warmth and feeling of self-worth to each of us. It feels good to help others and others feel good knowing someone wants them to help.
"Considerate" and "helpful" are words often used to describe a kind deed.
Kindness is what you define it as, rather than what someone else thinks you should believe it is.
I suggest all people actively attempt to live by my phrase, "Today I will commit one random act of senseless kindness. Will You?"

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Who is this guy?

Who is this guy?

His name is Alan Shawn Feinstein 
and He is giving away

Alan Shawn Feinstein

Three ways to help Common Cupboard
get more of Mr. Feinstein’s money!
Food –raise – The more food donated …
$$ Donations – The more finances donated …
Pledge – The more money pledged ….

Couponing 101 Class on April 26

Local Nonprofit Teaches Community Members How to Stretch Every Dollar
Common Heart Offers a Free Couponing Class

INDIAN TRAIL, N.C., April 14, 2012 – Common Heart CONNECTS is hosting Couponing 101 on April 26 from 6-7:30 p.m. in the June Bugs Childcare Development Center located at 2251 Stallings Rd., Matthews, N.C. This class teaches participants how to get the most out of food stamps and how to help the community and increase food pantry donations through the use of coupons.

Dana Hinson, Common Things Thrift Store assistant shopkeeper and experienced couponer, will lead this class.  The goal is to teach members of the community how to use coupons effectively for their own households and to aid local food pantries like Common Cupboard. Space is limited. Participants must register at or call 704-218-9060.

Common Heart began as a loose group of friends with the desire to put their faith into action by forging relationships with the people they help. It now encompasses a collection of community members and organizations, churches, and businesses in addition to its branches Common Cupboard, Common Things Thrift Store and CONNECTS. Common Cupboard, founded in July 2006, mobilizes volunteers to directly and personally address hunger and other issues of poverty in the local community. It has now evolved into a grassroots movement involving over 500 volunteers from 50 local churches in 2011, over 11,000 people were provided with a week’s worth of groceries through Common Cupboard.  

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Putting Feet to Faith ... Meeting needs, making friends

Putting feet to faith .... Common Cupboard is about bridging the gap between faith and action. It is about demonstrating and experiencing God's transformational love.  How do we do this? We equip families and individuals to serve, meet needs and make new friends.  We currently have 2 routes available in Monroe, another 2 in Indian Trail, and 1 in Waxhaw each are delivered once a month.  If you can give 3 hours, one Saturday a month to get out and find your feet in service to those in need, contact

Learning about God's Love

My Families Common Heart Story By Colin Albert

My family got connected to the Common Heart at first by helping out one Thanksgiving. We had been looking for a way to demonstrate God's love but didn't know how to get started.

A member of our church, Providence City Church, suggested that we help out at Common Cupboard delivering Thanksgiving baskets. So we decided to give it a try. When we got to the cupboard, Keith needed someone who knew the back roads in Union County. It turns out that the delivery was near a place I used to work; so we took it. We were a little nervous our first time taking all that food to a strangers house, but we were determined to help anyway we could. When we got to the house, my wife and I chose items for each of the kids to carry in based on how much each could carry. It was sweet watching the kids help and it felt good delivering hope and love to a family; they were very thankful. I left knowing that if we hadn't been there, that family might not have had much to eat at all, and they certainly would not have had a Thanksgiving.

After that, we decided to help at the Cupboard on a regular basis. We soon got a route to deliver. And, the route included the folks we had delivered Thanksgiving to just a few months before. We have been delivering to many of these same people for the last few years. And in that time we have formed deep relationship with many of them. Because of this relationship we have had a chance to rejoice with them and mourn with them, and God has enabled us to help them with other needs as well.

Our experience has also allowed us to share with others that are not connected to the cupboard in any way. Last Christmas our friend Myra let us know that she was raising her grand children and that she had no gifts for them to exchange on Christmas day. This was not something that we could help with on our own, so we prayed and asked for help from many of our friends. By the grace of God, a group of us were able to pull together Christmas for this family. And while doing so, we were able to explain to our friends what Common Heart does, and talk about God's love and what it means for all of us.

Being involved with Common Heart provides an opportunity for us to talk about and demonstrate God's love in a natural and non-threatening way. That first day when we came to help we knew that we could help ease a family's hunger, we had no idea that we would learn so much about God's love.

Friday, April 6, 2012

JB ACTS: It All started at McDonald’s

Her 13-year-old son sealed the deal. Leah, Operations Director of June Bugs Childcare Development Center for nine years, had never participated in 91.1’s Drive Thru Difference, but on this Friday morning, she felt called by the Holy Spirit. “I don’t even want McDonald’s!” she thought, but that is exactly where she found herself after her son woke up with a craving for a bacon, egg and cheese bagel.

Leah went through the line, ordered, then paid for her food and the food for the car behind her. “I kept wrestling with what God wanted me to do,” said Lead, “I kept looking in the rearview mirror thinking ‘they probably know you, Lord; what difference does it make if I tell them You wanted me to do this?’” As Leah parked to wait for her breakfast, the car behind her pulled up.

Enter Deb, shopkeeper at Common Things Thrift Store. Deb rolled down her window and thanked Leah. The two began talking and their introductions quickly turned into a budding partnership between two philanthropists.

Deb and Keith, executive director of Common Heart, had considered opening a second food pantry but were not sure how to make it happen.  Leah had two spare classrooms at June Bugs and a desire to get involved. The community needed more help. The idea for JB ACTS was born.

Fast forward to April 3, 2012. JB ACTS is open for its sixth Tuesday food distribution. “We were slammed within the first 15 minutes!” said Keith. Community members walk into the June Bugs prayer room, adorned with a large cross that once stood at The Commonplace Prayer Trail and positive messages on chalkboard painted walls, to receive government commodities, baked goods and fresh produce.

“The people that come through here are very thankful,” said Elise, a Common Heart volunteer since July of 2011, “and we [the volunteers] are like one big, happy family!” Elise and the other Common Heart volunteers have formed friendships with the people they help at JB ACTS, Common Things and Common Cupboard – and that is the goal of Common Heart.