Simple Service: TP the Local Shelter for Children!


Let’s TP the local shelter for children!

Sounds kind of silly, doesn’t it?  

Silliness was needed to gain traction (and avoid awkwardness) for our community service project with my 5th grade students.  We wanted to collect and donate as much toilet paper as possible to the local children’s shelter.

Leaves (and rolls of toilet paper) Are Falling

I organized and promoted this event in the fall because of our location.

In small, midwestern towns, tp-ing (taking rolls of toilet paper and throwing them in your friends’ trees late at night giggling the entire time) is considered a true source of entertainment.  

Maybe I will explain the old-fashioned fun of tp-ing in a later post. :)

With this in mind, I knew sending home a flyer promoting our elementary school tp-ing the shelter would catch the attention of our students and their parents!  

Holding the sheet with the image of toilet paper streamers hanging from trees definitely made everyone want to read what we were trying to accomplish.

Setting The Goal

I set a donation goal for our students.

If everyone helped, we could supply enough toilet paper so the shelter wouldn’t have to purchase any for an entire year.

After setting the goal, I offered a prize to the winning classroom.

The classroom able to bring in the most donated rolls would win an extra recess.  I promised I would take the winning class outside while my students went to music with another teacher.

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Getting to go outside while everyone else is still inside is a big deal!  

The students were pumped and ready to win!

Lots of Helping Hands

I taught 5th grade at the time, so I had an abundance of willing and able helpers.

Community service was something they already had practice with in my classroom.  They couldn’t wait to get started!

We promoted the week long collection event by sending home flyers with the students, a couple announcements were made over the speaker system at school, and emails sent out by yours truly to the staff.  

I kindly asked teachers to pump up their students before the week long event and during the event.  We wanted as many rolls of toilet paper as possible.

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My own children were also super excited to donate and wanted their classrooms to win the free recess as well!

They Delivered the Rolls

The students and teachers didn’t disappoint!!

We collected a ridiculous amount of toilet paper for the shelter and stacked it in the school gym.  I enjoyed seeing the students’ faces when they watched the giant pile growing daily!

I also had the school secretary announce our top three classrooms at the end of each day, leading up to Friday.  

It was fun to hear hoots and hollers down the hallway when a class was announced as the day’s leading class with their total rolls donated so far.

TP Pick-Up

The employee from the shelter was overwhelmed with joy when she arrived in our school gym on Friday.  

My students and I stuffed her van full of toilet paper.  We crammed packages of toilet paper in every space available.  It was a comical sight! 

The van was so full, we could barely close the door.  She had to make another trip so we could load down the van again!

Open House

The shelter had an open house a few months later for sponsors and to promote awareness to the general public.  

My own children and I went to the open house.  We wanted a behind the scenes look at all of the rooms and services the shelter offered.

Imagine our excitement when we found one of the storage rooms!  I bet you can was stacked from the floor to the ceiling with toilet paper!

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The employee giving us the tour had no idea I organized the toilet paper drive.  

When he saw us admiring the toilet paper, he said they received an enormous toilet paper donation and they were set for a long time.  

My own children were bubbling with pride!  

I told him we were the organizers.  He then shared what a blessing it was that they had one less expense to worry about.  

The employee also shared with me that some of the toilet paper was given out to families in need.  Sometimes they receive phone calls requesting basic household supplies, as well as food and clothing, for families with children.  

Toilet paper isn’t something you necessarily think of when donating supplies, but it is definitely needed!

I had such a fun time organizing and promoting our toilet paper drive.  If you want to organize a similar drive, please feel free to contact me at  I will happily answer any questions you may have!



Kale is a blogger, mother, wife, teacher, friend, and child of the one true King. She also has a soft spot for teaching children about community service. Kale married her exact opposite, Steak. They are living the dream in the Midwest with their two wonderful children. The family is constantly entertained by their hilarious mutt. is where you can find her writing, guiding, organizing, budgeting, eating plants, and cleaning up after the mutt.