Six years ago, Richmond Hill South Civic Association President Margaret Finnerty learned that a pair of scissors and a flip through the newspaper can change lives.
Since hearing at a Disabled American State Convention about a program to collect coupons that benefit military men and women serving abroad, Finnerty has partnered with her civic, and a number of other groups around south and southwestern Queens, to assist the troops.
Finnerty, whose husband is a disabled veteran who served in Vietnam, trekked around much of the borough in recent years, discussing the program that allows soldiers and their families at bases around the world to buy discounted goods. Her efforts have paid off, and Finnerty announced at the Richmond Hill South Civic Association meeting on Thursday that the Queens residents have collected one million coupons.
“Words can’t express how happy I am to unite so many groups,” Finnerty said. “Some people are very far away from their families, and by getting these coupons, they know they’re not forgotten.”
Along with her civic, Finnerty worked with the Ozone Park and Howard Beach senior centers, the Ridgewood Older Adult Center, the Ozone Park Civic, the Lindenwood Alliance, the Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary Chapter 118, and the Howard Beach Assembly of God.
While they’ve hit the one million mark, Finnerty said their efforts have only just begun —now they’re aiming to collect two million coupons.
To assist, residents can collect manufacturers’ coupons that are no more than three months old and bring them to a meeting of the Richmond Hill South Civic. The group’s next meeting will be held May 24 at 7:30 p.m. at the United Methodist Church, located at 112-14 107 Ave.
Coupons can also be dropped off at the offices of Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Ridgewood), state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) and Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park).