United Way’s Weird Toilet Paper Drive

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June 19, 2014; Merced Sun-Star

NPQ is interested in the things that United Ways are doing to make themselves useful as workplace giving gives way, at least in part. So we noted that in Sacramento yesterday, the United Way distributed 161,058 rolls of toilet paper that it collected from the community in this year’s sixth annual Toilet Paper Drive. The toilet paper is for use by 160 nonprofits in Sacramento, Amador, El Dorado, Placer, and Yolo counties.

Kaila Ricci, senior manager of marketing and events for United Way, commented “Nonprofits spend thousands of dollars every year on this necessary item, so instead they can spend those dollars on life-changing and vital services that help people,” Ricci said.

NPQ agrees with this, and we are sure that shelters, daycare organizations, and health centers were all happy for the practical help, especially as opposed to offers to re-engineer the emphases of local giving. Now, where to store that stuff?—Ruth McCambridge

  • Karen Horn

    There is a way to tailor goods drives for local need, and host them on a regional, state and even national level–http://www.yougivegoods.com They never version will even all donors to make cash donations in addition to donating a good.

    Perhaps the coolest possibility isn’t just focusing on an item such as “toilet paper”, but that the flexibility of the drive and the shipping can mean any number of perishable items could be raised, and shipping commences when it is convenient for the nonprofit–not just when the drive is over.

    I do like asking “smaller” donors the ability to give goods. It allows for larger unrestricted donations to be allocated towards harder to cover costs: salaries, for instance.