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March outreach: Local coupons go a long way

Tech. Sgt. Crystal Goff, March Airman & Family Readiness representative, clips donated coupons for shipment to the Kaiserslautern Army Community Services, located in Germany, where they will be readied for use by military family members. The coupon program is an outreach activity at March ARB, designed to help defray the costs incurred by military families while living abroad. On average, March sends 300 to 500 commissary and  AAFES-friendly coupons per week to the KACS. (U.S. Air Force photo by Darnell Gardner)

Tech. Sgt. Crystal Goff, March Airman & Family Readiness representative, clips donated coupons for shipment to the Kaiserslautern Army Community Services, located in Germany, where they will be readied for use by military family members. The coupon program is an outreach activity at March ARB, designed to help defray the costs incurred by military families while living abroad. On average, March sends 300 to 500 commissary and AAFES-friendly coupons per week to the KACS. (U.S. Air Force photo by Darnell Gardner)

MARCH AIR RESERVE BASE, CALIF. -- The March Airman & Family Readiness Center has many outreach programs that provide comfort services to local Airmen and their families. However, the center also has a program that reaches across the Atlantic Ocean to a small military community in Kaiserslautern, Germany. The coupon program, here at March, commits time and effort to provide more than 55,000 service members and their families stationed in the area of Ramstein Air Base, Germany, with commissary-friendly coupons to help ease some of the cost-burdens associated with living abroad.

"We have a small volunteer force here that collects, clips and arranges all of the coupons for shipment overseas," said Tech. Sgt. Crystal Goff. "We accept all coupons as long as they do not surpass the printed expiration date in the allotted time -- while stationed overseas, coupons are acceptable up to six months past their expiration date. We send about 300 to 500 coupons per week to Germany."

The donated coupons are sent to the Kaiserslautern Army Community Services where they are collected by a staff of volunteers, who arrange them at the base library for military member's usage.

"When living overseas, you have limited access to coupons, outside of what friends and family send through the mail," said Goff.

Servicemembers and their families are able to use donated coupons to purchase food and necessary supplies in the commissaries and Base Exchanges, located on military installations.

"The staff and volunteers of the Army Community Service Center and the Service Members and Families in the Kaiserslautern Military Community would like to express thanks for the continued support of the ACS Coupon Program," said Michelle Thomas, director, Army Community Service. "We are very grateful for having so many people back home supporting and lifting up our military personnel as they stand ready to defend and protect our freedom."

If you would like to drop off coupons, contact the March Airman & Family Readiness Center. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4: 30 p.m.