BEARING several small towers of toilet paper, Inverell Girl Guides were welcomed wholeheartedly when they visited Ronald McDonald House in Tamworth late last month.
The unique gift is part of a four-year tradition for the Guides, who collect the rolls all year.
Looking for a service project to help the young women learn how to give back to their community, district manager Beth Hamilton approached Ronald McDonald House. She said the nearby charity had helped several local families, including a few from the Guides.
“I rang them and said, ‘What could we do?’ She said ‘I know this sounds really strange, but toilet paper would be great,’” Beth said.
“They don’t get funding for toilet paper and they don’t get it supplied from the hospital. But once it’s been used and the family leaves, well obviously they’ve got to get rid of that roll.”
The girls take great pride in the project, and love to watch the pile in their hall grow throughout the year. They enjoy competing with each other to see who can donate the most.
“They all like it. They all know what it’s for and where it’s going,” Beth said.
Entry to the Guides’ annual disco is unusual, with the price for entering a packet of toilet paper. Any money raised goes towards purchasing more.
The toilet paper is just one of many altruistic projects the Guides took on last year. In November, the group threw a family fun day in support of six-year-old Inverell boy Aiden Readett, who was injured in a house fire.
Selling raffle tickets, painting faces and inviting community members to try out their game inventions, the guides raised over $600 for Aiden’s family.
“They don’t have any girls, they only have boys, but whatever fundraiser the Guides do, they always come along and support us. So we thought it would be nice to just give back a little bit,” Beth said.
The girls also supported cancer survivors at Relay for Life, learnt about the environment in an earthkeepers camp and slept under the stars at Cockatoo Island. Three new leaders joined the team and the girls made friends with Guides from other towns.
“I think we’ve had a good year,” Beth said.