Question. What would you do for a single square of toilet paper?
Random, huh? But seriously think about it for one sec --what would you be willing to do?
If you happen to be sitting at your computer with a settled stomach and the (taken for granted) knowledge that there's a value pack of "big roll" tucked in the bathroom closet, cupboard, pantry; you probably can't imagine taking extreme action to secure a small sampling of quilted 2-ply. And that scratchy, generic, 1-ply stock offered at most public facilities???? Willing to go to great lengths to chafe yourself with that stuff? I doubt it.
Then again, we've all been there. The mall, the library, Walmart...you gotta go real bad, you plop down and aahhhhh, then glance over and "aw, snap!" Ah, well now that's a different story. Suddenly, toilet tissue, no matter how thin or stiff, is a prized possession. So much so that you will grab that sad little brown tube and start meticulously peeling off tiny pieces --the ones that stick to the glue -- and stacking them together into something resembling a cotton cosmetic pad that you can only hope has as much absorbency. You've done it, you know you have! =)
In some cultures none of this would be relevant. You'd just squat in the street and move on. But here in the good ol' US of A, we are a little more particular about our bums. (Though perhaps not particular enough by some standards. Check out this interview with the author of The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters for an interesting read.) We've traveled the path from pink and blue --Vagisil would like to express their sincere thanks--to quilted, to aloe infused, to recycled. Buffing our bottoms is big business.
By now, you're thinking, Amie, what the crap are you talking about? (couldn't resist that one) I'm talking about this...all joking aside:
Every other Thursday we volunteer at a local food pantry distribution at Faith Baptist Church. It is one of my favorite things. Overwhelming, heavy, leave feeling both glad to have helped and utterly helpless at the same time FAVORITE thing! The economy continues taking a toll and this is more than evident by the ever-increasing number of families coming for help. The need is great. There are families sitting in the worship center of the church who do not have a roll of toilet tissue in their home. This is not assumption, this is not some projection of common statistics, this is knowledge based on relationships built over months and months. Toilet paper. None.
If your first thought was "well, what have they done to squander their money away?" -shame on you. Please stop yourself now.
If your first (2nd, 3rd, 175th) thought was "whoa, what can I do?" I'm so glad you asked. =)
1. Be aware.
2. Be humbled not judgemental.
3. Be there.
4. Be generous.
Okay, so you've read this blog which means you've taken care of number one whether you meant to or not. Now you're accountable. See how I did that? ;-) About number three...if your church, community, local non-profit hosts a food pantry (and lots of you reading are FBC'ers so I know yours does...hint, hint.) please volunteer. Most have lots of options for service and even varying times available for different components of the ministry. And if you spend a night or two hanging out with the families, grandmas, grumpy old men, precious babies, I assure you that humbled thing will take care of itself. But if you can't be there in person then definitely be #4. I can only speak to our specific location but the warehouse is looking bare and could easily be replenished if we all, each, everyone, the whole of us added a few staple items to our grocery list each week.
I did a little research and there are lots of items that run under $1.00: white/brown rice, pasta, chicken noodle/ tomato soup (on sale .50 each @ Target), instant mashed potatoes, tuna, salmon (lunch packs), lots of canned vegetables, etc. etc. etc.
I hope you take this as I intended it. A reminder. It's not a guilt trip. It's really not. Now, if I said that I hope you think of the need for supplies at local food pantries every time you wipe your butt today THAT would be a guilt trip. But I won't say that. ;-)