Mother’s Day in Hawai‘i usually involves lei and presents, an extravagant meal, and time spent with immediate and extended families. Although our moms probably do not need another gift certificate for a spa treatment, it’s all done in an effort to make our moms feel special. Unfortunately, for island moms who are homeless and living in shelters, Mother’s Day feels anything but special.
But thanks to Jen, Heidi, and the network of volunteers and “couponers” from SavingWithAloha.com, many of the moms at the Pai‘olu Kaiāulu Emergency Shelter in Wai‘anae had a brighter Mother’s Day this year.
On Saturday, May 12, 2012, organizers and volunteers from SavingWithAloha.com came together for Couponing for a Cause at Kahala Mall to put together baskets full of personal care items to be donated to women in shelters, and Ka Pa‘alana was chosen to be a recipient. Thanks to the generosity of the SavingWithAloha.com hui, and donations from the community at large, Ka Pa‘alana received over 30 gift baskets and three large bags of loose personal care items to give out at the shelter.
In talking with Jen and Heidi about how SavingWithAloha.com started, it becomes apparent early on in the conversation that their passion goes far beyond just saving money with coupons, but giving back to the community and blessing those who are less fortunate.
“With the high cost of living in Hawai‘i, I found myself working a little harder to make ends meet. I was up late one night and saw a TV interview where a lady explained how she saves her family hundreds of dollars each month by using coupons. At first I was skeptical, thinking it would not be possible in Hawai‘i. But that Sunday I bought the newspaper, clipped the coupons, and realized I was able to get items for FREE. I decided to start a blog and a Facebook page to show others that saving with coupons is possible, even in Hawai‘i, and that it can be done with the Aloha Spirit. That’s when “Saving With Aloha” was born.
I began posting deals on my blog, and then I moved on to hosting Coupon Swaps (where couponers could swap unwanted coupons for the ones they wanted). My very first swap was in front of the Starbucks in Kahala Mall. That’s where I met Heidi, and we hit it off and we’ve been friends ever since. We both have the desire to help others, and together we have handed out baskets full of items to random people, made donations to the various non-profit organizations, and started teaching coupon classes. We’re just two local girls wanting to help other locals save money for their families.”