Home » United Way to collect 190,000 rolls of donated toilet paper
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United Way to collect 190,000 rolls of donated toilet paper

United Way volunteers lure toilet paper donations along Exposition Way.

"Why," you may ask "is United Way collecting toilet paper at Cal Expo today?"

Toilet paper?

Rolls of TP are tossed out of a truck and into the arms of a

Here’s the scoop:
Local nonprofits spend thousands of dollars a year that is literally flushed down the toilet. The toilet paper drive helps offset this cost so funds may be used to provide necessary services to help nonprofits change the lives of the people they serve.

Cesar Castaneda, Deputy Director for Atkinson Youth Services provides group and foster homes and a special education school. Soon they will have a mental health clinic.

"Any money that we can save from buying toilet paper at our homes and our schools will mean more funds for music and art activities at school," he explains.

"We try to normalize the lives of the kids as much as possible between foster care and special education kids," Castaneda explained. "We want to make sure they get some of the regular things other kids would have – arts, music, boy scout camps, cheerleading, summer camps."

Amount they spend on toilet paper a year? Would you believe $8,000.

$8,000 saved could help them achieve that.

Here’s an overview of some nonprofits 2012 toilet paper expenses and how those expenses could have been used to serve clients:

  • Volunteers of America: $20,000
  • 5 months of meals for every man, woman and child in the family shelter
  • Elk Grove Food Bank Services: $14,000
  • 3,500 men, women and children receive one roll of toilet paper each week for a year
  • Atkinson Youth Services: $7,920
  • 6 foster families receive toilet paper, 6 group homes and one school have extra activities
  • American Red Cross Capital Region Chapter: $7,000
  • 2,300 emergency comfort kits during a disaster
  • Kathlieen Weis, CEO American Red Cross Capital Region
    explains how the TP drive helps disaster victims.
  • Next Move: $5,000
  • 2 months of meals for 50 children who are homeless
  • Wellspring Women’s Center: $3,500
  • 175 hours of counseling and case management for women in crisis
  • Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services: $3,000
  • Four weeks of gardening and healthy eating classes for 70 adults
  • Women’s Empowerment: $1,400
  • 466 bus passes for women who are homeless to travel to job interviews
  • Sacramento Life Center: $1,350
  • Free pregnancy or STD test, ultrasound and counseling session for 50 women
  • Sacramento Loaves and Fishes: $960
  • 676 nutritious home-cooked meals for people who are homeless
  • KidsFirst: $770
  • 12 parenting classes – one full session – for one family seeking help
  • Discovery Museum: $550
  • Two scholarship outreach programs for kids
  • Francis House: $540
  • 1-week stay in a hotel for two homeless families with children
  • Youth for Christ’s Campus Life Connections: $400
  • 1,143 snacks for the after-school program for teens
  • Shoulder to Shoulder: $360
  • 3 at-risk teen boys to attend annual Academic Challenge Camping Trip to Yosemite

Amber Murry, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for United Way California Capital Region says this is their fifth year for the toilet paper drive.

"We have United Way staff and about 150 volunteers here collecting toilet paper and reaching to collect 190,000 rolls which ties into our 90th anniversary," Murry said. "We were founded in 1923."

Last year Murry said they collected 177,000 rolls so they are definitely expecting to reach this year’s goal of 190,000 by 7pm.

"The toilet paper drive is really essential for our local nonprofits. They can spend a lot of money in a year on toilet paper," she said. "Volunteers of America spends about $20,000 a year on toilet paper. So the more toilet paper we can collect today will help alleviate some of those costs for them and spend that money on important services."

Toilet paper is easy to purchase and donate, and when you add it all up it really makes a difference for a nonprofit.

"We do have one special sponsor today – Sac-Val Janitorial Services," explained Murry. "They’re matching one roll for every three we collect today."

United Way is collecting the donated toilet paper until 7pm tonight, Thursday, June 13 at the main entrance to Cal Expo located at 1600 Exposition Blvd.

At the time of this posting,  78,722 rolls have been collected. Feel free to drop some off after work today! 

Food Bank Turkey mascot helping out.

All kinds of vehicles dropped off TP rolls.
The scene around 9:30 this morning.

Editor’s note: The “News Digest” goes out every Tuesday morning and highlights our best stories, photos and videos from the week prior. Sign me up.

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