It takes a village to raise a pyramid. The Congregational Church of Patchogue initiated this project to provide toilet paper for homeless veterans and domestic violence shelter residents. But we could not have done it without toilet paper contributions from the Fire Department; two Chambers of Commerce; the VFW; the American Legion; Temple Beth El; the Islamic Center of Long Island (ICLI); the Turkish Cultural Center; a few churches; the regional library; the Girl Scouts; the Alive After Five street festival committee; several children and parents from our church; many organizations,; businesses; and 1,500 individuals who contributed and participated in this sweaty and joyous event using 15,000 rolls.
Noteworthy, we received no corporate or foundation support or donations, although we did solicit them. Power to the people! Grants can be given and taken away and often arrive with stifling conditions. But they cannot match the power within 1,500 beating hearts and helping hands, each carrying a single roll of toilet paper.
Scores of lovely individuals created a team of hope, love, caring, sharing and empathy. Plus, at least two legislators (Democrat and Republican) agreed to sponsor a bill to change the laws that classify TP as a “luxury” that cannot be included in grant requests. Founded in 1793, we continue to see great community acclaim and support of our mission and ministries. We took it to the streets and it exploded into joy! This speaks loudly to our continuing relevance and vitality.