Elkmont Man Creates The Coupon Patrol to Help Needy Families

Pay It Forward

Consumers are warned to be careful when getting digital coupons from their email or the internet.

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ELKMONT, Ala. (WHNT) - Food, health and beauty products, cleaning supplies are things many of us buy regularly at the grocery store. And the receipt totals can add up quickly. One man in Limestone County is on a mission to get those household goods to those in need and he has a special skill to help.

WHNT NEWS 19 received an email from our viewer Amanda nominating Larry Pierce. It reads in part:

"Larry Pierce started a group called The Coupon Patrol. It is a group on Facebook that helps people learn how to coupon. He also started a program called "The Family of the Month" where people suggest families that need help. I know if he gets the $319 from Pay it Forward, he will use coupons to get products to give back to the community and needy families.”

WHNT NEWS 19 showed up to surprise Pierce with $319 at his home in Elkmont. He is confident the cash can really be stretched.

"This will probably turn around $1,500 worth of merchandise using coupons or maybe more,” says Pierce. "We will put it to good use."

Larry Pierce’s home houses a lot of food, cleaning products, snacks and other items that are distributed monthly to local families in need. He learns about the families via The Coupon Patrol Facebook page, which rose to more than 3,000 members in just a year. Group members make suggestions. The names are kept private. Pierce checks to make sure their need is legitimate and then he goes to work.

"On my last trip to the grocery store, I saved $220 and I only spent $20 out of pocket,” says Pierce.

Larry’s savvy shopping has already provided for many families.

"So far, we’ve helped over 10 families and we’ve given away around $6,000 worth of merchandise," explains Pierce. "We’ve been very blessed with that.”

Pierce's dedication impresses other volunteers, like Phebe Durant.

"He always gives," says Durant. "He spends his whole day on the computer going through this stuff and going shopping for the people. He’s just great."