It’s one of the items that food banks need but is apparently overlooked.
I used to nearly obsess about toilet paper. In my former city, one charity is called Hope House. They supply items such as food, clothing, diapers and sometimes just a kind word to those in need in the community.
Cheri does an amazing job and periodically blogs about it on the web site.
On the site, they post the items that are most in need.
When I first moved there, I noticed that, of all things, toilet paper was number one on the list. For some reason, that really bothered me. I did not imagine being in need of it. Having some food, but not having to have the experience of being able to use toilet paper was just unacceptable to me. Determined to remove this from the list of needs, I would make it a point to buy an extra one of those wholesale size packages of toilet paper when I visited the local Costco. It wasn’t the cheap brand either. Charmin Ultra Soft. Not only would they have some food to tide them over, but they will have the dignity of being able to use a nice soft product. Sometimes the smallest comforts of life made a big difference to me and I was thinking the same might be the case here.
At first, I would drop the large package off into the bin, thinking “That ought to do it!”. Now we can move on to other things.
But that’s not what happened.
The next week, there it was. #1 on the list. Toilet paper.
It was being used though so I saw that as somewhat comforting.
Over the following months, I kept at it. Week after week, I would steadily drop off the package in the drop off bin hoping to make some difference. It was an automatic reaction at the store to reach for that extra package and put it in the cart. Each time, wondering about these unfortunate people in need. Hoping they can pull themselves out of whatever situation brought them to the charity. I periodically would donate money also. I’m sure that was appreciated also. But somehow, donating the actual goods felt more personal. It felt as though there was a stronger connection forged between the donor and the recipient. Maybe this was just in my head. But I did feel different when dropping items off.
I wasn’t able to completely eliminate it from the list of needs. The best I recall being able to do was knock it down off of #1 on the list. Progress.
I will try to remember to keep giving to those in need; and I’ll try not to forget the toilet paper.