AP NEWS

Man runs toilet paper exchange on California street corner

March 17, 2020 GMT
A notice limiting only 3 packages of toilet paper per customer is displayed on picked bare shelves after shoppers cleaned out the stock of paper and cleaning products at a local grocery store in Burbank, Calif. on Saturday, March 14, 2020. Californians wanting to escape the new reality of the coronavirus at the movies, casino or amusement park are running into the six foot rule. State health officials issued new guidance Saturday urging theaters to keep attendance under 250 people and ask strangers to sit six feet apart. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
A notice limiting only 3 packages of toilet paper per customer is displayed on picked bare shelves after shoppers cleaned out the stock of paper and cleaning products at a local grocery store in Burbank, Calif. on Saturday, March 14, 2020. Californians wanting to escape the new reality of the coronavirus at the movies, casino or amusement park are running into the six foot rule. State health officials issued new guidance Saturday urging theaters to keep attendance under 250 people and ask strangers to sit six feet apart. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

ENCINITAS, Calif. (AP) — Disturbed by empty store shelves and reports of hoarding during the coronavirus crisis, a man stood on a Southern California street corner and held up a homemade cardboard sign with a simple request: “Share your toilet paper.”

Jonny Blue told the San Diego Union-Tribune on Saturday that the response to his impromptu toilet paper exchange in Encinitas was immediate and positive.

Drivers honked horns in support and stopped to drop off rolls of toilet paper. Just as quickly, Blue would hand rolls to those in need.

Blue, a physical therapist, said he plans to be out on the corner again Sunday to “encourage people to be better” amid the global pandemic.

Blue gave a few rolls to a grateful motorist who said he came up empty at several stores.

“He was like, ‘Do you want me to pay you?’ I said, ‘No, man. Somebody gave it to me. Take it.’”

The 33-year-old told the newspaper he made his sign after a friend had a difficult time finding diapers and essential supplies for his kids.

“I think people want a sense of community,” Blue said. “When things are really challenging, people are looking to band together and be unified.”