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177,451 Rolls of Toilet Paper

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Toilet paper – TP.  Single or double ply? Embossed?

What’s your preference?

It’s something most of us in the US use many times daily.  We take it for granted until we run out!

And it’s not particularly cheap. It is literally money down the toilet.

And for that reason United Way California Capital Region’s 4th annual LIVE UNITED Toilet Paper Drive went into overdrive today.

Beginning at the crack of dawn, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. over 120 volunteers greeted donors and helped unload the precious cargo. (I know, it’s only TP). Company mascots – Slamson, Dinger, Herky, Chippy, Chick-fil-A Cow, Scoopy and Sacramento Food Bank’s Turkey stopped by to say "Howdy" as the drive kicked into gear.

But for 142 certified non-profit partners of United Way in Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties the donation of the simple TP offsets the thousands of dollars they spend on TP and enables them to spend those dollars on vital programs and services for the people they serve, according to Kristin Thebaud, Communications Director, United Way.

Lauri Hodge who works with Kids First, the Child Abuse Prevention Council of Placer County, says they provide counseling services, in-home parenting coaching and parenting classes. They are a resource center for Placer County.

"We have three offices – Roseville,  Auburn and Citrus Heights", Hodge explains. "If we don’t have to buy TP, then we can provide 15 cases of diapers for families in need, or counseling sessions for kids that have been victims of abuse and neglect."

By not having to buy the TP it saves them the money to provide more services to families, she says.

Katie Billegas,  Yolo County Children’s Alliance, a family resource center and the Child Abuse Prevention Council for Yolo County, explains that they actually pass out the TP to their clients.

"We have an in-home visiting plan and there have been families that have actually resorted to using rags because they can’t afford toilet paper," Billegas said. "We try to make sure that doesn’t happen. Last year we provided 30 families with a month of TP."

Everybody needs it!

Amber Murry, Vice President of Marketing who helped plan the event, stresses that it is "really important that we hold the toilet paper drive because non profits can spend thousands of dollars a year and we would rather have them spend that money on services rather than on toilet paper."

Toilet paper is a real cost for non profits so this TP drive helps wipe that cost out.

Murry says people start to chuckle when they first hear about the toilet paper drive, but when they think about the difference it can make it produces great results.

Sac Val Janitorial matches one roll for every two rolls United Way collects which makes a HUGE difference Murry said.

As of 10:10 a.m. 65,833 rolls, which included the match, had been donated. Half-way to the goal.

Sheila Auth, Sac Val Janitorial

Sheila Auth, Sac Val Janitorial, explains that last year Murry asked them to partner with United Way.  So every two rolls the community donates we give one.

"Last year my company donated 39,000 rolls, which is about 405 cases and the value’s about $22,000," Auth explained. "We feel non profits money can be spent in better ways by receiving donated toilet paper."

Enterprise Rent-a-Car collected 18,652 rolls, way above their goal of 10,000 rolls, according to Grace Kimshin.

She said every office from Eureka to Bakersfield participated and every employee was on a roll, reaching out to friends and family.

Simplex Grinnell delivers in a fire truck

If you’re interested in the humble beginnings of TP, here are a few sites worth checking out:
Toilet Paper History


History of Toilet Paper




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