A toilet sits in the front yard of Charles Shaw Wednesday morning as part of a fundraiser by West End Church youth. | Jessica Hargett

Archived Story

Toilet troubles

Published 2:22pm Thursday, July 12, 2012

The youth of West End Church are up to some smelly business.

Beginning this past Sunday, the youth group has been hosting a fundraiser involving toilets being placed in people’s front yards.

Jimmy Strickland, youth director, said a colorful toilet gets put in someone’s yard and then they can have the toilet removed for $10. For an additional $5 the church will deliver the toilet to the yard of their choice. For another $10, insurance can be bought so the toilet won’t be placed in the same yard again.

Strickland said all proceeds go to help the younger children of the church take a trip to see The Polar Express in December.

“We have not done this before, but someone from the church was searching for ways to raise money that would be fun and would get more people involved, and they found this fundraiser on the Internet,” Strickland said.

Strickland said he and his wife Cindy were actually the first victims of the fundraiser.

“The way we found out was Sunday morning at church,” Strickland said. “The lady who is over the little ones said she had an announcement and it required an image to be put on the video screen. Someone had put the toilet in our yard and took a picture in our yard after we had already gone. As a victim it was pretty funny, and it was pretty creative. Overall we’ve had a good laugh, and it’s for a great cause.”

Strickland said he thought it was even funnier when he found out about someone else in town who had gotten a toilet placed in their yard.

“The funny part about it is now one of our local mayoral candidates, Charles Shaw, has a perfectly manicured yard with a toilet sitting in it,” Strickland said.

Shaw agreed that the fundraiser was funny and said he hopes the youth raise a good amount of money.

“I think it’s great that young people are willing to get involved in the church by doing the Lord’s will and trying to raise money to help out in different functions in the church,” Shaw said. “I just think it’s a cute thing they’ve done. We have had two or three people to stop at our house to look, and one guy even got out and read the note on it. I think it is funny and pretty comical to see it sitting out in the front yard.”

Shaw said Wednesday the toilet would be out of his yard by the afternoon, and he has plans to send it elsewhere.

“I’m having it moved to another church member’s yard in town,” Shaw said. “I think wherever it goes, they’ll be glad to pay the money to get it out of their yard.”

As the fundraiser continues, Strickland said the church encourages anyone in town to participate.

For those wishing to leave a toilet in someone’s yard, contact the fundraiser organizer, Melinda McDaniel, at the church by calling 256-234-2130.