Over the past few weeks, the run for toilet paper has been the subject of countless online jokes. However, for many less-than-fortunate families in our region, it’s no laughing matter. They’re still experiencing the repercussions of a shortage that began mid-March.
Jennifer Decker of the Hampton Inn in Manassas was trying to think of ways to help the community, and she found the answer hiding in her supply closet. “It just came to me,” she said. “Why can’t we buy toilet paper in bulk from our supplier, donate it, and then challenge others to do the same?”
Decker reached out to Aaron Tolson of local non-profit ACTS, who confirmed they could distribute to those in need. Decker pitched the idea to her peers of Leadership Prince William, a local community of community leaders. 20 donations were pledged from that single outreach, and the request is now out to the Greater Prince William Community.
Why Are We Still Out of Toilet Paper?
Production facilities are working 24×7 to get toilet paper to stores, but the infrastructure isn’t designed for a crisis. Georgia-Pacific, for example, has 14 facilities in 11 states making toilet paper. Before it gets to retail store shelves, those packages first need to reach a regional distribution center by truck.
“We are working hard to maximize the number of deliveries we can load and ship out of our facilities – you can just load and unload so fast,” said Eric Abercrombie, spokesman for Georgia-Pacific. In the last week of March, “our mills and regional distribution centers managed to ship out 120% of normal capacity. We also are working with customers to have direct shipments when possible to reduce distribution time.”
How You Can Help
Use the link below to donate $43.17 which sponsors a case of 80 rolls to be distributed to families in need. The toilet paper crisis can come to an end with your help. Payments are processed by Give Back Prince William, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization.