Helping Neighbors, One Group at a Time

Keene resident Terri Herzog, a local school counselor, is very involved in the local community. Through a couponing and other groups, she has found fulfillment in such involvement and in helping those in need.

ELF magazine spoke with her recently about her work, which has expanded to helping even more people amid the current COVID-19 pandemic and related social distancing mandates.

ELF: How did you become involved with helping people with money-saving efforts during this difficult time?

Herzog: At the urging of some of my friends, I started a couponing group on Facebook. It started out pretty small, with just my own circle of friends who were interested in learning about couponing and deal-finding. I always enjoyed doing giveaways to get people excited about saving money. Once COVID-19 hit, people started having a hard time finding several essentials, so I ran a thread of which local stores had specific items (toilet paper, hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, etc.) in stock. The week started with 160 members in our “Keene Couponing Group” and by the end of the week we had more than 800 members.

In the couponing club, I share deals that I find from a variety of sources. I match up current coupons (both the paper type that come in the weekend paper inserts and digital coupons) with weekly sales. As a single mom, I know how hard I work and how much it helps to be able to stretch my money. Once I took on couponing and budgeting in a very serious way, my life changed. I had a lot of people help me along the way by teaching me tips and tricks. I would like to do the same for other people.

I’ve always had an interest in community and helping others. I majored in social work in college and I work as a school counselor now. I have always felt myself drawn to organizations that help low-income individuals. I have known Jen Dassau, founder/director of Feeding Tiny Tummies, for several years. I really believe in the mission of Feeding Tiny Tummies [a non-profit program that combats childhood hunger alongside local schools in Cheshire and Sullivan Counties by providing meals to children on weekends, school breaks and summers away from school]. At the same time, as my couponing group was expanding, Feeding Tiny Tummies posted about a peanut butter shortage. They were challenging the community to come up with teams to see who could donate the most peanut butter. I put the word out to the couponing club and the response was incredible!

ELF: What do you get out of participating and helping with so many things?

Herzog: I’ve always felt an important sense of community and the value of helping others. I am currently in a very good place in my life, but as a single mom, I have experienced hardship. Sometimes the smallest things we do for others can help more than we know. I feel most fulfilled when I know I have helped someone else in some way.

ELF: What would you say to someone who is thinking about getting involved in these activities as well as helping the community?

Herzog: I would say that you would be surprised at how much these things can change your life! On the budgeting/couponing/deal-finding side, if you take it on in a serious way, you will completely change the way you shop and spend money. You will have a sense of security that you may never have had before. It is remarkable enough that it will lead you to want to teach others about it. I personally feel you can’t help but feel like giving back when you feel a strong sense of security and peace with your life.