Claire and Parsegh Oksayan of San Marcos decided to give toilet paper to neighbors with a note offering a helping hand. Photo by Eric Sanchez

In just one week, Claire and Parsegh Oksayan, owners of coffee truck The Rush Coffee, said their business tanked after events were canceled and the public was urged to socially distance themselves to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

Although they found themselves without work in just a matter of days, Claire Oksayan said she was inspired to do what she could for her San Marcos neighbors using her newfound free time. She also found one little blessing as a business owner in the hospitality industry: She had ties to companies others did not.

“We have access to vendors that most people don’t, like Restaurant Depot, and paper supply companies,” Oksayan said. “I was actually behind the curve when I finally asked our paper company if they had any toilet paper left. They were pretty low on stock but our contact said he thought he could find something for us from the nearly empty coffers.”

Oksayan said her contact gave her a box of 96 rolls of toilet paper, a commodity that has become hard to find as people stock up on supplies during the pandemic. But rather than keep the toilet paper for their family, the Oksayans opted to share with their neighbors.

The duo, along with their children, took to the streets of San Marcos on Tuesday evening and left a roll of toilet paper at each doorstep. The toilet paper was packaged inside a gift bag with a note attached stating, “Hello Neighbor, We just wanted to say that we are thinking about you and are here to help if you need anything.”

The note ends with the couple’s contact information and a Bible verse.

“I definitely don’t need 96 rolls of toilet paper but wanted to do something uplifting for our neighborhood,” Oksayan said. “I realized that I don’t know many of my neighbors and I have no idea if anyone is in need of help. I wanted to find a way to extend an olive branch to those people so they had someone they could call if they needed help. I thought the TP was a funny way of opening up that communication with complete strangers and it just may come in handy as the emergency roll.”

So far, the neighbors have been grateful for the unexpected gift that landed on their doorstep.

“To the family handing out toilet paper to each house, thank you!” one recipient wrote on a Facebook San Marcos page. “What a sweet idea!”

Another family gave the Oksayans a bag of lemons.

Oksayan said she isn’t sure what the future holds or how each neighbor will react to her gift, but she hopes this small act spreads a bit of cheer during uncertain times.

“I just want people to remember that there is something out there so much bigger than our fear because I need this reminder all day every day,” Oksayan said. “People are really scared right now and having someone willing to listen to their fears and worries can make all the difference in the world right now.”