Pricey paper

Jeremy Crary's post on a local Facebook auction site brought a $100 donation for the Connection shelter. 

Sent home from work by the coronavirus, Jeremy Crary of North Platte hit upon a way Sunday to bring some good out of a bad situation:

He auctioned off a single standard roll of toilet paper for charity.

And because Hot Tub Pros of North Platte thought Crary’s gesture a worthy one, the city’s Connection homeless shelter has an extra $100 for serving its clients.

“There’s a lot of tension everywhere” because of the worldwide spread of COVID-19, Crary, 32, said Monday after closing the bidding on the original “North Platte, Ne 24hr Dollar Auction” Facebook page.

“I wanted to do something to make people smile and make a good cause of it, rather than another silly meme.”

Eric Cemer, co-owner of Hot Tub Pros, said before joining Crary at the Connection to pay up that he and his business partner thought Crary had an inspired idea.

“We saw a nice gesture (online), so we decided to do a nice gesture as well,” Cemer said.

Crary, a North Platte resident since 2008, had worked as a host at both Lincoln Highway Diner locations before coronavirus concerns led to cutbacks there.

After his last day of work Friday, his thoughts turned to his stash of toilet paper — which only began reappearing in North Platte stores last weekend after being scarce for days.

“I’m a bachelor, so I have a whole stockpile of TP,” he protested. “I haven’t bought toilet paper in months.”

He knew his auction idea “would either be a hit or a fail,” Crary added. “If it was a fail, I was going to match whatever (money) people put up there.”

He said he reached out to the dollar auction site’s sponsor before posting his item. “Normally you can’t put things like that on there,” Crary said. “But she was totally on board with it.”

He doesn’t know whether he’ll think up another wacky fundraising idea while the coronavirus shutdown persists.

But “it’s my time to do another good deed,” he said.