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Archive for Thursday, June 18, 1998

COUPON COLLECTION FOR SENIORS DWINDLES

June 18, 1998

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Agency's income from coupon fund-raiser has dropped in the last several years from $40,000 to $15,000.

Douglas County Senior Services needs coupons.

Robert LeGresley, with DCSS, says that the agency's fund-raiser, ``Coupons for Caring,'' isn't producing as much as it used to; the agency needs more help.

The first year the agency tried the fund-raiser, 1991, it raised $40,000. This year, LeGresley expects it will only bring in $12,000 to $15,000.

The program uses grocery coupons to earn money to fill out the agency's general budget. More than 500 volunteers clip, sort and file coupons; three Dillons stores participate. Coupons are marked DCSS and attached to the appropriate product on the shelf.

``There are a number of people, because of the number of years the program's been running, who know what it's for,'' LeGresley said. ``Other people probably don't know about it until they get up to the register.''

Checkers are trained to ask customers if they want to use the coupon themselves, or give the proceeds to the DCSS.

The problem, LeGresley said, is that coupons have dwindled. Volunteers are working harder for less money, he said.

Other changes in coupons, such as manufacturers not accepting coupons marked for someone other than the user of the product, and shorter expiration times, have made it harder to raise money. LeGresley also said the agency has fewer project volunteers.

``It's still revenue that is so important to us,'' LeGresley said.

The agency also needs coupons, he said. Coupons with more than six weeks until expiration and not marked ``buy one, get one free,'' can be dropped off at the senior center at 745 Vt.

LeGresley said that if the money can't be raised through the coupon program, the agency will have to search for other funding.

``Frankly, in recent years we've done as much cutting as we can do and still provide the level of services we need to for the seniors,'' he said.

-- Felicia Haynes' phone message number is 832-7173. Her e-mail address is fhaynes@ljworld.com.

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