Helping Others

United Way distributes 161,058 rolls of toilet paper to nonprofits

Nonprofit groups flocked Thursday to Senior Gleaners in Sacramento to load up on something every organization needs: toilet paper.

United Way collected 161,058 rolls from the community for this year’s sixth annual toilet paper drive, said Amber Lovett, 37, of east Sacramento, vice president of marketing for United Way.

More than 175 United Way emerging leaders volunteers collected donations and distributed the packages of paper to 160 local nonprofits across Sacramento, Amador, El Dorado, Placer and Yolo counties. Emerging leaders are volunteers younger than 40 who care about philanthropy and community service.

The donation saves the health and human services organizations thousands of dollars annually in toilet paper costs, said Kaila Ricci, 30, of Sacramento, senior manager of marketing and events for United Way.

“Nonprofits spend thousands of dollars every year on this necessary item, so instead they can spend those dollars on life-changing and vital services and programs that help people,” Ricci said.

Community Housing Opportunities Corp. is one of the many nonprofits that showed up Thursday to collect toilet tissue. The private developer of affordable housing also runs financial counseling, social work services, health programs and after-school services for low-income families that live inside its housing.

Toilet paper runs out quickly in the community rooms, where a lot of children and families visit, said Terri Smith, 44, who works as program manager for Community Housing Opportunities and lives in the Arden area.

“We go through a lot of toilet paper,” Smith said. “It really makes a huge difference on our very small budget at our nonprofit.”

The money saved from the drive will go toward after-school programming, community events and children’s events, she said.

The 161,058 rolls were collected within 12 hours on June 12 at Cal Expo and through online donations, Lovett said. Organizations from Sacramento, Amador, El Dorado, Placer and Yolo counties donated to the toilet paper drive. The top three donors were Intel, Enterprise Rent-a-Car and The Golden 1 Credit Union.