My roll out with United Way

Andrea Gutierrez

Like your average college student I’m not entirely sure what is to become of me once I graduate, but thanks to a little guidance I’m that much closer to figuring it out. My name is Andrea, but around here I was bestowed the nickname “Stroke” which is far more endearing then “intern.”

As an intern I have already seen my fair share of incredible feats, and to think that I’m only in my third week! Just yesterday the UW staff tackled rain and mini-vans alike as we replaced hundreds of miss-used car seat. Before that I learned about the operations over at Foodlink and how they work to provide for pantries as well as educate future truck drivers. And now it seems the events just keep coming!

Since beginning my experience with United Way, I’ve learned more about my community then ever before… not to mention the experiences I’m having are proving to be invaluable. BUT the most valuable thing I’ve learned thus far has come from the people right here in the office. The staff here goes all out each and every day trying to bring in as much as they can for their respective projects. It seems that every person at United Way has a role, and each role matters….

…speaking of rolls….

Have you ever given serious thought to toilet paper?

As an intern my newest project will be raising over 50,000 rolls of the long white aloe vera infused paper to benefit non-profits throughout the area. For me, I was shocked to hear that some agencies spend upwards of $10,000 a year on this simple product that we all seem to take for granted… In reality we all get a little bummed when we pull the last square from the cardboard.

So please keep in mind these fun facts the next time you head to the bathroom…and maybe save a square or two:

  1. Toilet paper sales generate $200 billion in sales annually and is a chief exporter for the U.S.
  2. The average person uses 57 sheets of toilet paper in a day, that’s 20,805 annually, or over 100 rolls!
  3. On average Americans spend a total of 3 years in that bathroom….(think of all the time you could be volunteering).

My personal resolution – for every roll I use to set one aside and give it to someone else because what I’ve learned so far is that everyone plays a “roll” in changing their community!

Andrea Gutierrez is a senior at UC Davis with a dual major in Psychology and Communications.


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