Nechemia Newman thought he was on a roll when he collected more than 300,000 toilet paper box tops to raise money for his son’s yeshiva and four other Jewish schools in Brooklyn. But now the makers of Scott bathroom tissue are saying that despite the devoted dad’s fundraising operation — which theoretically brought in $200,000 — they‘re not ready to make the schools flush with cash.
Newman told the New York Daily News Monday that he and a team of parents spent months cutting out box tops, each redeemable for cash as part of the national Box Tops for Education program. He said he sent in just 75,000 coupons, and that Scott must have miscounted.
Whatever the total, the company is not letting him wipe away the fact that he sourced many of his box tops from a wholesale toilet paper supplier. “He buys truckloads and repackages them. He supplies the bodegas and throws out all the packaging,” Newman said.
The wholesaler, who refuses to be named or to talk to Scott, maintains there was no dirty business. “I don’t want to ruin my business over this,” the wholesaler said. “I was trying to do this as a charity. Once they sell me the product, we can do whatever we want with it.” In the meantime, Scott is refusing to pay, and has a private investigator trying to get to the bottom of it all.
Meanwhile, members of Brooklyn’s Orthodox community have different opinions about the toilet paper caper. “It’s an illegal campaign,” said Rabbi Leib Kelman, the head of the Prospect Park Yeshiva. “The source of these items is not legitimate. The company doesn’t know where it came from.”
On the other hand, Rabbi Eliyohu Davis, head of the United Lubavitcher Yeshiva in Crown Heights (where Newman’s son is a student), was much softer. “I don’t think what he did was wrong. I say more power to him. He did it trying to help the school.”