Willmar Area Food Shelf benefits from confiscated toilet paper
WILLMAR -- Expect to see neighborhood trees draped in white, flowing strands of Charmin any day now. At least two area school districts, Willmar and New London-Spicer, are celebrating homecoming festivities this week, and students from both distr...
WILLMAR -- Expect to see neighborhood trees draped in white, flowing strands of Charmin any day now.
At least two area school districts, Willmar and New London-Spicer, are celebrating homecoming festivities this week, and students from both districts have a long tradition of targeting classmates' yards with toilet paper.
For the students who complete their mission, the result can be a satisfying coup of juniors against seniors.
But for the students who get stopped in their tracks by authorities, the toilet paper that's confiscated can be a welcome gift.
Willmar Police Capt. Dave Wyffels, said toilet paper that's taken from students is given to the Willmar Area Food Shelf, where it's distributed to people who are struggling to make ends meet.
"Will we take the toilet paper? You bet," said Wyffels. "It goes to a good cause."
One year he delivered 500 rolls that had been taken from Willmar students who were loaded up with ammunition for a night of TP'ing.
"Finders keepers, losers weepers. Sorry," said Wyffels, with a grin.
One year the donation to the food shelf was just 50 rolls. Kids can get their toilet paper back, but it takes more than a little chutzpah to do so.
Wyffels said if a parent comes to the police station with the student the day after the toilet paper is confiscated, it will be returned.
In the last 10 years, he said, it's happened once. It involved a whole trunk-load of TP.
Some people on the receiving end see the TP'ing as an unwelcome mess, while others view it as a fairly harmless prank.
Kandiyohi County Sheriff Dan Hartog, said if the department gets a call from a resident, students can be arrested if they don't leave the property.
Hartog said officers will also confiscate toilet paper from kids who are stopped on a probable cause, such as a traffic violation. They can also face criminal charges.
His greatest concern about homecoming activities is the possibility of students being injured in reckless driving incidents as they race away from homes. One year, he said, a pickup rolled when students where riding in the box during homecoming antics. No one was seriously injured in that accident
Unlike the city, the county does not have a set procedure for dealing with the confiscated toilet paper.