Begins Toilet Paper Project

One Less Worry provides essentials

By Beth A. Birmingham | Nov 16, 2016
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham AIO Food Pantry volunteer Nelton Johnson, left, helps stock the shelves with one of life's essentials, thanks to another community project being implemented by Sharon Hobson, right, director of One Less Worry.

Rockland — One local woman has taken it upon herself to organize various projects to assist those in need in the community. And she is setting out on a mission to be certain no one goes without one of life's essential needs -- toilet paper.

"We’re excited about the Toilet Paper Project because it focuses on a basic essential for all people, regardless of age, gender or race," Sharon Hobson, project organizer and director of One Less Worry, said.

Hobson explained there are two main toilet paper problems for those who are financially challenged. The first is that people with limited funds are unable to purchase toilet paper in large packages that bring down the per-roll price.

"Many people are forced to purchase one- or four-roll packages, the most expensive way," Hobson said.

The second is that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program funds cannot be used to purchase toilet paper. SNAP money must be used for edible products, not hygiene or personal care products, according to Nancy Wood, a local SNAP educator.

SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net, according to its website.

Hobson conducted data research and found that the average person uses one to one and a half rolls of average quality toilet paper per week.

"At AIO Food Pantry, toilet paper is only on the shelf if donated," Hobson said. "When available, during their monthly visit, each family may receive one roll, regardless of the size of the family."

However, thanks to Hobson's determination and commitment, beginning Nov. 21, Thanksgiving week, One Less Worry will provide AIO toilet paper for each person -- rather than per family.

"A family of six will receive six rolls," Hobson said with enthusiasm.

AIO Food Pantry provides food to an average of 1,100 people in Knox County monthly.

"As you can imagine, a goal of 1,100 rolls a month is a mighty mountain of toilet paper," Hobson said.

"We’re working on funding strategies. We’ve set up an Amazon wish list with the name One Less Worry, where people can contribute toilet paper directly to us. Amazon also allows you to set up monthly product contributions. We’re considering a gofundme account, but haven’t committed to that yet," she said.

If people choose to, they may simply leave toilet paper on Hobson's porch -- as she said continuously happens. "I never know what I'm going to find when I drive up to my house," Hobson said.

She added that monetary contributions are very helpful, because, we can store those in our bank account, rather than my guest bedroom."

"Providing such a profound essential is fundamental work for One Less Worry’s philosophy of helping provide necessities to Knox County people in need," she said. "We are constantly aware of the generosity and goodness of our community and their willingness to help."

Hobson said the pantry used to be thought of as for emergency purposes only, not that there was a fundamental need. That has obviously changed.

"It feels really good to hand people something they really need," Hobson said.

Other community programs organized by One Less Worry include The Purse Project, which is an annual project that collects purses filled with pads, tampons and other grooming products and distributes them to organizations that serve homeless and at-risk women and teens; and the Pads and Tampons Project, which is a year-round project to provide pads and tampons to AIO Food Pantry, New Hope for Women, OUT Maine, Oceanside High School, and Camden Hills Regional High School. New locations are on the horizon, according to Hobson.

To make a donation to any of One Less Worry's projects, contact Hobson at 593-6297 or visit the organization's Facebook community page.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at bbirmingham@villagesoup.com.

Donated toilet paper sits on a small portion of a shelf at AIO Food Pantry in Rockland Nov. 11. Beginning Nov. 21, a goal of 90 rolls will line the shelves each day, thanks to One Less Worry's newest project -- the Toilet Paper Project. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Comments (2)
Posted by: Sharon Hobson | Nov 18, 2016 08:20

Drucinda. I believe the snafu with the Amazon wish list has be solved. Please know that you can by-pass the wish list and order toilet paper to be sent to One Less Worry. You can also order and send from other on-line shops such as Staples, Target, and Costco. That way you can easily shop where you want and within your budget. Shipments or check donations may be sent to: One Less Worry; 108 Beech St.; Rockland, ME 04841. TP may also be dropped off at Rheal Day Spa. Thanks!



Posted by: Drucinda Woodman | Nov 16, 2016 10:46

Great article for Great program.Not sure how the Amazon wish list works.

What do I do to access One Less Worry's Amazon list???



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