Six months into 2013, I thought it would be a good time to share WestChesterBuzz’s best human-interest stories in West Chester and Liberty Township so far this year. By reading through this weeklong series, it will be easy to tell why this community is so special.
Lottery winner inspires toilet paper donation
It wasn’t quite a truckload of toilet paper, but it was enough to satisfy Regina Jackson.
Jackson, who won $1 million from the Ohio Lottery New Year’s Raffle, told the Buzz in Janurary that she wanted to buy a truck full of toilet paper with her recent winnings.
Not for herself, mind you, but for a charitable group that she grew dependent on over a seven-month period in 2008 after she was temporarily laid off from her customer service job at Cinmar in West Chester.
“If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have been eating,’’ Jackson said of Reach Out Lakota, a nonprofit that provides food, clothing and necessities to needy Butler County residents.
“My mother, who I live with, had enough to cover the rent, the gas, the electric, the phone, but not the food.”
There was no money for other necessities, including toilet paper.
“That is the one thing that people don’t realize until they don’t have it,” Jackson said. “At Reach Out Lakota, you only get two rolls of toilet paper and a roll of paper towels (monthly). If I could buy them a truckload I would, but I will just donate them money instead.”
Remembering a seven-month period of unemployment in 2008, when she was laid off from her customer service job at Cinmar in West Chester, Jackson was dependent on Reach Out Lakota’s donation of food, paper towels and bathroom tissue.
Once she found out that the lottery ticket she purchased at a West Chester Meijer was a winner, Jackson felt that “paying it back” was the right thing to do.
“In the beginning I didn’t want to come, but it ended up being such a Godsend because it took a lot of weight off my shoulders,” said Jackson, who said she would donate $5,000 to Reach Out Lakota. “To be able to turn it around and give back to somebody that gave so much to me, just means so much.”
Upon hearing Jackson’s story, Procter & Gamble was inspired to donate 5,000 rolls in her name.
“When we heard about Regina, we were just inspired to give back,” said Laura Dressman, Charmin communications manager. “We are thrilled to donate 5,000 rolls of toilet paper in her name. We are dedicated to the local community and we hope the donation helps Reach Out Lakota further assist other families.”
The delivery, which has a retail value of $4,200, rolled into the Reach Out Lakota office, 6561 Station Road, West Chester, Jan. 24.
“I couldn’t wish for anything better,” Jackson said. “P&G stepping forward and donating the toilet paper that I mentioned, it is so fantastic. I am just overwhelmed. This all still feels like a dream.”
Currently, Reach Out Lakota, which provides provides food, clothing and necessities to needy Butler County residents, will provide a family of four between 8-to-10 20 lb. bags of food and necessities three times a year. Each cartload includes a four-pack of toilet paper.
In 2012, Reach Out Lakota helped 2,445 local needy families and gave away almost 5,500 rolls of toilet paper. With Charmin’s large donation, the nonprofit can now focus on stockpiling their food and clothing pantry with other items.
“The Charmin donation is going to make a big difference for Reach Out Lakota because the money we would spend on toilet paper can now go to purchase other items,” said Lourdes Ward, CEO and executive director of Reach Out Lakota.
“We are really proud to give people in this community a hand up. And this won’t only do that, but also help provide them the essentials for daily living.”
Jackson was one of four $1 million winners Jan. 2 in the Ohio Lottery New Year’s Raffle game. After federal and state taxes, Jackson was set to receive a lump sum of $710,000.
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