Belen woman, 93, helps military families overseas save money

BELEN, N.M. (KRQE) – A 93-year old Belen woman has spent the last decade helping military families overseas. Her tool to do that? A pair of scissors.

“They have to be cut on the dotted line,” said Pearl Dunigan.

One by one, Dunigan perfectly cuts each coupon.

“Having been military and on military pay, I decided that it would be something that would help the families financially,” she said.

Dunigan sends out these neatly trimmed pieces of paper every few weeks to commissaries overseas. She spends anywhere from 1-10 hours a day cutting coupons but says it’s worth it.

“I feel like I’m helping someone, and that’s what life’s all about. What we can do for each other,” said Dunigan.

Her unique passion began when she was inspired by someone else doing the same thing.

“I started sending coupons to a lady in Iowa, that was sending them to commissaries overseas. Then when she stopped, I took it up,” she said.

It’s a cause special to her. Dunigan was a member of the Women’s Army Air Corps. during World War II.

She knows every dollar counts for military families. To date, she’s clipped more than a million coupons, totaling up to $1,707,688.14.

They’re helping every kind of family, even single personnel.

“There’s food coupons and there’s shampoo, and there’s pet coupons for pet food,” said Dunigan.

At 93, she doesn’t plan on putting the scissors down anytime soon.

“I don’t have time to get old,” she said.

A majority of Dunigan’s coupons are sent to her from people out of state, but she gets a lot from here in New Mexico too.

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