BOTHELL, Wash. -- There are people you meet in this world who have a sunshine view of life. Kimberlee Koplan is one of them.

I m a glass half full kind of person, said Kimberlee, a mother of three from Bothell who likes to save money by using coupons.

Like yesterday, there was a three dollar off coupon for diapers and that s unheard of, she said. You say coupon , and I get all excited.

Kimberlee loves how she s helping others with all the free or discounted food she gets from the coupons she collects. She showed us her pantry. It was full.

This is my little store inside, she proudly said. All of these noodles were for free with the coupons.

A lot of the food in her pantry ends up at the Hopelink food bank in Kirkland.

It got her thinking - why not get her kids involved in helping too. After all everybody s struggling and we have to do our part to help, no matter what, said Stephen Koplan, Kimberlee s husband.

Emma s fourth grade class and Ellie s second grade class at Evergreen Academy in Bothell competed in a food drive to help those struggling this holiday season.

Even if you re bringing the smallest donation, you re helping someone, 10-year-old Emma told her classmates. They listened well. In just one week Emma s class collected 546 lbs of food. Ellie s class raised 399 lbs.

It s absolutely priceless, said Kimberlee, who will admit that times have been tough for her family too. b We didn t expect this to happen.

So April I was suddenly let go from my job after sixteen years with the same company in sales, said Stephen Koplan. And Kimberlee was five months pregnant and we were in the process of building a house. We lost that.

That family now lives on Kimberlee s salary. The Bothell family is getting by and grateful to be able to put food on their table. The couponing has helped cut expenses.

I would say that we save between $1,000 and $1,500 dollars a month, said Kimberlee.

Easily, Stephen added.

And the giving has helped raised their spirits.

Absolutely, said Kimberlee.

The donations from the school will pay for 845 meals this holiday season. And that s not all. When the principal, Dana Mott, visited Hopelink s food bank in Kirkland, she saw a need for books. Mott then collected more than 1,200 books from the library and donated them to the food bank.

And there s more. Kimberlee and her kids plan on doing a school supply drive next. But first things first - it s party time. Both classes were rewarded with a pizza, popsicles and pajama party for all the good work they re doing to help others.

This Saturday is the KING 5 Hometeam Harvest. We'll be out collecting donations across Western Washington. Drop off donations at any of 10 collection sites.

  • Kitsap Mall
  • Everett Mall
  • Safeway, Bothell
  • Northgate Mall
  • Redmond Town Center
  • Bellevue Square
  • U.S. Bank, Renton
  • Tacoma Mall
  • Pier 1 Plaza, Olympia
  • Coastal Harvest, Aberdeen

Northwest Harvest feeds the hungry across the state. The most desired items: proteins like canned tuna and chicken, chili, canned vegetables, baby food.

If you can t donate food consider a cash donation. Northwest Harvest can serve a family of three for just 67 cents. Just text HOMETEAM to 85944 to make a $10 donation, or donate at US Bank branches and Safeway stores in Western Washington.

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