The Incredible Power of Pizza

MEQUON, Wis.—It’s cold in Wisconsin. Try 29 degrees on for size. This is definitely not the time of year you want to run out of toilet paper because of a coronavirus epidemic.

But I suppose Wisconsin people are used to the cold. I talked to one Wisconsin lady who said, “This is nothing, last year it was so cold that if our thermometer woulda been an inch longer, we woulda froze to death.”

The Mequon Pizza Company is making the weather and the virus pandemic a little more bearable with regular pizza deliveries. Their deep-dish pies are the best in town. Their hand-rolled mozzarella sticks are to die for. And if you order today, your large pizza comes with a free side of Cottonelle 2-ply toilet paper.

That’s right. Toilet paper is on the menu at Mequon Pizza Company. They are delivering rolls of toilet paper all over the area.

An official company spokesperson announced online a few days ago: “Did you run out of toilet paper? If so, the Mequon Pizza Company has your back! …We will give you a free roll of Cottonelle 2-ply toilet paper if you need it! Just ask!”

There is a limit to six rolls per customer. One dollar for each additional roll. But the main thing to remember here is: The Mequon Pizza Company has your backside.

I wish they delivered to Florida.

PORTLAND, Ore.—Wanda is reading bedtime stories to her grandchildren via video phone calls. She has been doing this every night.

“You have no idea how alone I feel,” said Wanda. “To be a lonely senior citizen, sometimes going to the grocery store or the post office was the only socialization I got.”

She reads to her grandchildren from the same book each evening. Her grandchildren end every phone call by kissing the camera and saying, “We love you, Grandma.”

“It’s all I have to look forward to right now,” says Wanda. “I love it.”

JONESBORO, Ark.—Jonesboro is a cool town with lots of things to do. But all the storefronts and restaurants are losing money since business tanked.

Which is why an investment company that owns several area restaurants is waiving rent so local eateries can keep paying employees.

The Young Investment Company told tenants yesterday: “We ask that you use this money instead to pay your employees and take care of your family. Stay strong. We will get through this together!”

You don’t typically expect this kind of positive attitude from frugal property owners. And if you’ve worked in food service, you know exactly what I mean. I once worked in a restaurant where the owner was so cheap that he ate his cereal with a fork so he could reuse the milk.

To tenants like Chef John Myers, this lenience was not just appreciated, it was life saving. “That money goes straight to the employees,” says Myers.

RENO, Nev.—It’s spring break and college kids are supposed to be on beaches, throwing Frisbees. But Jayde Powell, a 20-year-old psychology student at the University of Nevada in Reno, had a better idea.

Instead of vacationing on a crowded beach, throwing a Frisbee that could seriously injure some poor middle-aged guy, or worse, knock over his beer, Jayde is delivering groceries. And I don’t mean a few bags. I’m talking metric tons.

Not long ago, Jayde gathered several friends from her medical fraternity, Phi Delta Epsilon, who probably have a combined IQ of 73,912. They formed a gang called the “Shopping Angels.”

Jayde posted some information online offering to deliver essentials to elderly neighbors.

The responses flooded in. Emails came from all over the nation. Messages from those needing help. Messages from people wanting to help out. And sincere messages from helpful folks who wanted to take a minute to tell Jayde about the life altering power of Amway.

No, I’m just kidding about Amway. I think.

The Shopping Angels have been raising money hand over Frisbee. So far, they have raised $19,000 in only a matter of days. In fact, Jayde’s club has gone nationwide almost overnight. She has brought on five coordinators to help take on the mounting workload.

Jayde says, “A lot of our volunteers have already said they hope this continues… The fact that people want to continue this when quarantines are over shows me that this is something that could continue long into the future.”

I’ve never met Jayde, but I know that the launch angle of her future has changed in the past week. I’ll bet it’s only going to keep changing. And the funny thing is, spring break isn’t even over yet.

So anyway, I keep trying to go back to my normal daily writing, sharing important updates about my dogs, my wife, mayonnaise, etc. But I just can’t seem to quit reading these stories. Not when people keep emailing them to me by the bucketfuls.

This is a rough time. Our world feels like it’s stuck in a kind of Purgatory sometimes. Watching the news is starting to give me palpitations.

So each morning, I read these emails on my computer screen and become so moved that I call my wife into the room. Then I tell her about how a pizza shop in Mequon is delivering free toilet paper. Or about how a grandmother misses contact with other people.

Even though I don’t mean to, I start to choke up while reading. Not only because I am touched by the stories; not only because during sad times the human race will always find a way of surprising you.

But because we are almost out of toilet paper.


  1. Andrea P. - March 21, 2020 10:43 am

    Sean, please keep writing “these” stories.

    While you may get tons of them sent to your email —we don’t. We need the uplifting news. We need to hear something heartwarming and hopeful instead of all the doom and gloom. We need to hear more stories about how people are helping people vs people buying guns and fighting over a case of water or hoarding 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizers to scalp on Amazon. These stories remind us there is still good in the world. They remind us to stop the panic and consider others. They may even spur on some to put down their phone, turn off the news and give away a roll or two of toilet paper themselves. Sometimes all people need is a little nudge, an idea that can start a snowball equal to the toilet paper panic. Panic and fear can spread like wildfire but couldn’t the same thing happen with good?

  2. James - March 21, 2020 11:02 am

    I could use a couple of sheets right now, Not because of the article, which is good, but I seem to the only one who doesn’t know his email address. Anyone willing to share that email address??

  3. Naomi - March 21, 2020 11:12 am

    It’s just the opposite where we live. Our small town actually made the national news. People got into a brawl at Sam’s Club trying to be the first one to get in the door before they run out of toilet paper. Supermarkets have set aside certain hours for the elderly to shop so they won’t get hurt by a lunatic trying to run them down with a shopping cart. I have never seen anything like this in my life.

  4. Cathi Russell - March 21, 2020 11:29 am

    Sean, we always need your stories but most especially right now. You remind me of the good & since the MSN only wants to be fearmongering, you’re such a precious respite. I’ve turned off the news, am watching a lot of Andy Griffith & Doc Martin and reading…next up is “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” by one Sean Detrich! Much love to Jamie, Thelma Lou, Otis & especially you!

  5. Christy Hazelwood - March 21, 2020 11:40 am

    Thank you! Blessings to you.

  6. Susan Kennedy - March 21, 2020 12:30 pm

    Sean, thanks for keeping us inspired, and for helping to remind us what love and community are all about. You are amazing and I hope you and Jamie find some TP!! 😉

  7. Berryman Mary M - March 21, 2020 12:37 pm

    Priceless, Sean! I think we will all be changed by this and maybe for the good.

  8. Eddy - March 21, 2020 12:42 pm

    We appreciate what you’re still doing whatever that is 😊! I wish Lori had given Y’all some toilet paper now instead of a jar of Duke’s mayonnaise on the book tour. Or maybe both. Hindsight is 20/20, pun intended! Hugs and love to you, Jamie, Thelma Lou, Otis Campbell and families. By the way, I’m currently reading WILL THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN ……👍👍

  9. Robbie - March 21, 2020 12:51 pm

    Please keep sharing. These stories are so uplifting during the days of uncertainty!

  10. Virginia Branson - March 21, 2020 1:13 pm

    Satterfield’s, an exclusive restaurant in Vestavia, AL is paying staff to come in and do “odd jobs” at $10/hour if they want to. (They are offering a curbside service for phone orders.) Whether they work or not, the head chef is preparing a meal every day for all of them, and they can get a go-box for their family. In addition, there are cases of t.p.. Since there are no customers to use it, employees can take a roll home when they need it.

  11. Melanie - March 21, 2020 1:54 pm

    Sean I bet Wanda just got a lot of new friends. If she wants to share her contact info I’d be happy to talk to her. ❤️

    • Renee Banks - February 25, 2021 2:20 am

      Thank you Sean for these uplifting stories of people helping people. It gives me such hope for the future. Since June 2020 I have struggled to put one foot in front of the other. My 42 year old daughter had a massive stroke and was airlifted to Vanderbilt for life saving brain surgery. She has endured many valleys in her recovery. I try to be her cheerleader and problem solver. She is in a long term rehabilitation facility. I can talk with her on the phone but I can’t see her face to face. I haven’t been able to touch her since early July 2020. I can’t see my other daughter or my grandchildren. I am overwhelmed with loneliness, depression and anxiety even though I put on a brave face. I am a widow so I live alone. I am so thankful that she lived (it was close). I am thankful for my home and food to eat. Some have it much worse than me. I am ashamed when I have a day when I just seem to be in a coma and when anxiety takes over. Sometimes it all seems like too much. When I read your posts I am able to focus on your stories and block everything else out for a bit. Thank you so much. You cannot imagine how much you help me survive.

  12. Terri - March 21, 2020 2:04 pm

    God bless you Grandma Wanda, you’re on my prayer list now. Love you much Sean.

  13. Robyn - March 21, 2020 2:24 pm

    I totally agree with this comment!

  14. Jan - March 21, 2020 2:35 pm

    Please don’t stop! Reminders of kindness and a little light hearted fun are just what we need in these days of chaos and fear. As one of the “seniors” encouraged to definitely stay inside, I look forward to getting up, turning my computer on and reading my daily view of Sean of the South! By the way, I love your newest book! I read it at night and read your insights in the morning so you are the first thing I read in the morning and the last thing I read at night! Meeting you at the bookstore on one of the last nights you got to tour was a delight!

  15. Anna Bracknell - March 21, 2020 2:59 pm

    You are good for my soul. Thanks for being there for all of us. Love the stories you share. God bless

    Faithful. Reader

  16. Susan I Gleadow - March 21, 2020 3:04 pm

    Sean, please keep doing these columns about the good going on! I am looking forward to it every day as the news does not seem to mention these stories at all.

  17. Linda Moon - March 21, 2020 4:14 pm

    Admittedly, math is not my strength, so I didn’t understand the correlation coefficient of the thermometer’s size and death by freezing. But I understand the correlation of these bucketfuls of stories and how good they make me feel. Your normal daily writing, Sean, will be welcomed back into my inbox when this Purgatory ends! And, if you run out of toilet paper, I know and love several someones who “made do” with corncobs back in the day…..just sayin’….

  18. muthahun - March 21, 2020 4:29 pm

    Brilliant! I’d send you some tp in an envelope, but by the time you sprayed it with alcohol to disinfect, it probably wouldn’t be worth much. With you, m’dear, we got sunshine on a cloudy day!

  19. AlaRedClayGirl - March 21, 2020 5:38 pm

    Once again, thanks for our daily dose of hope, sanity, encouragement, and levity!

  20. Betty - March 21, 2020 6:01 pm

    With all the e-mails you are getting maybe you could write 2 or 3 columns a day. We surely would love to read them. They brightened our cloudy days & bring much hope for mankind….& womankind.

  21. Linda Allen - March 21, 2020 6:23 pm

    Hello out there! I have been reading Sean’s wonderful daily columns for some time now. But I wanted to share that I finally am reading one of his books: “Will the circle be unbroken?” It is absolutely an amazing book! I shouldn’t be surprised as his writing is so good. Anyway, I highly recommend it. Thank you Sean and Jamie!

  22. Patricia Gibson - March 21, 2020 6:34 pm

    You are keeping me sane❤️❤️❤️

  23. Teri - March 21, 2020 8:02 pm

    I now like in Destin but from Wisconsin. I know exactly what pizza restaurant you are referring to😋. Sure do miss a good Wisconsin pizza!! I know there is such a thing as southern hospitality, but it too is in all parts of our country and the world😊. I love hearing all the good that is happening our country during these trying times. Thanks for putts smile on my face and salivating for my hometown pizza 😊

  24. Ann - March 21, 2020 9:02 pm

    You continue to help keep things full of hope….thank you with your humor and inspiration!

  25. Tammy S. - March 21, 2020 9:21 pm

    Love all the stories of people helping people!! Thanks for sharing Sean!! 👏🏼❤️

  26. LInda Everett - March 21, 2020 11:16 pm

    Will the Circle be Unbroken, is one of the greatest stories I have ever read. Everyone needs to read this book! I actually felt like i was living his life with Sean! Great book!

  27. peggybilbro - March 21, 2020 11:47 pm

    This chokes me up too. We’re in self isolation and missing our usually activities and friend gatherings. Bless Facebook, Instagram and all the other social media that keeps us in touch. I think I’m about to learn what zoom is. Wish me luck!

  28. Steve Winfield (Lifer) - March 21, 2020 11:50 pm

    Gov. Ivey ain’t let it get too out of hand in Alabama yet. The traffic sure has improved. I pray that you & yours all stay healthy through this. All your readers too.
    About half way through “Circle” & really loving it. It’s book #5 for me & I have others on the way.
    Love from Steve & family.

  29. Crystal Coleman - April 25, 2020 3:52 am

    Sean, thank you! I have been a fan for a several months now, and enjoy that I laugh, and cry and often wince in painful recognition when I read your posts.
    Stay well!

  30. Mary Hicks - April 25, 2020 6:15 pm

    Thanks, Sean, for uplifting my day! God is still working and is in control! I have just started reading, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” which my granddaughter purchased for me. Love and prayers you and Jamie.

  31. Martina - April 26, 2020 12:10 am

    I love your daily stories Sean. However, the English teacher in me needs to tell you the word
    Is bucketsful not bucketfuls!

  32. Mary Hicks - February 25, 2021 2:35 pm

    Thank you, Sean, for the uplifting stories. I know I read these over and over, but they just make my day!! Love and prayers for you and Jamie.💖🙏🏼


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