An Insider’s Look at Toilet Paper Distribution Day
One day. 160,000 TP rolls. 100 nonprofit partners!

Angela Criser3fold Communications

Last year, I donated. With TP in hand, I stood in awe at the mountains of white rolls that filled Cal Expo. And while giving was rewarding, I remember thinking about what happened next—who were the nonprofits benefitting from the drive and how exactly does a pallet of toilet paper really help them?

This year, I decided to see for myself.

One of the perks of being an Emerging Leader is having the opportunity to participate in the United Way’s Toilet Paper Distribution Day. Where the Toilet Paper Drive is exciting and fun, Distribution Day is rewarding and memorable. Regionally, this year’s collection saved the United Way’s partner agencies more than $160,000—money that could now be spent providing the essential services our community needs. Being part of the team handing over that budget-saving commodity to the excited and dedicated nonprofits’ staff and volunteers is an experience I won’t soon forget.

As one of many volunteers in the day’s two shifts, I personally experienced a fraction of what this seemingly insignificant product means to the nonprofits receiving it. Throughout the day, more than 100 nonprofits came by—some with trucks, others with small cars and volunteers happy to make multiple trips to collect for their organizations. When we weren’t packing in the packages of TP, volunteers had time to chat, challenge each other to some rousing games of cornhole, and enjoy a delicious barbecue spread put together by United Way’s amazing staff.

In the end, volunteering at Distribution Day not only reinforced how much a donation of any size or amount can mean, but also helped me see how much impact those donations make to real people. I encourage all my fellow Emerging Leaders to take that extra step and volunteer—you’ll meet some great people, share a shocking amount of smiles, and walk away feeling like you’re made a real difference in the community.