Toilet paper and tea, toys and coffee

Published 8:17 am Saturday, November 5, 2016

Editorial by Bobby Tingle


Candi Trahan, outside sales representative of The Orange Leader, reminded me of an annual event held about this time each year.

In a way, the event is a reminder of the many ways we share with others. This time of year, memorable annual events provide opportunities to do so.

Candi attended the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce November Breakfast Connection Thursday morning. Southeast Texas Hospice hosted the breakfast. It must be somewhat of a tradition for them to do so. I attended the event last year, same month, same place.

What struck me last year was an invitation extended to attend another of their annual events, their Toilet Paper Tea.

Whoever thought of that name is a marketing genius. It’s easy to remember and explains in three words the simplicity of the event.

Donate toilet paper and share a cup of tea.

I don’t have a good memory, but the event is etched in my mind.

When Candi arrived back at the office she assured me that the Toilet Paper Tea was on again this year.

Donations of office and cleaning supplies at this annual event aid Southeast Texas Hospice in carrying out their mission. Guests are treated to refreshments and a wonderful opportunity to socialize. Last year they continued the tradition of guests hanging doves on the hospice memorial Dove of Peace tree. Families in need benefit from the donations made by those hanging doves on the tree.

Toy Coffee is another event name etched in my consciousness. At first the name puzzled me. What is a toy made of coffee? Even the question puzzled me.

Toy Coffee is a project of The Service League of Orange. According to Pat McKee, the annual event is an opportunity for area residents to donate gifts or cash.

Each year the community is invited to a home, sort of a Christmas tour, to enjoy the beauty of the decorated home, coffee, refreshments and conversation. The Service League turns the gifts and cash donated at the event over to the Salvation Army. Ultimately children in the community receive those gifts as Christmas presents.

Tea and coffee must bring out the generosity in folks.

Another unique event grabbed my attention last year.

Special Angels Rodeo was holding its second annual event.

The mission of the event, according to their website, is to ‘promote, organize and produce fully adaptive rodeo and western heritage events specifically for any persons with special needs.’

The event was a huge success in 2015. A steady stream of cowboys and cowgirls were treated to many traditional rodeo events. The joy and excitement of participants was evident. Cowboys and cowgirls roped calves, rode mechanical bulls, rode horses and raced through a barrel course. There were plenty of activities for the cowpokes to enjoy. Games and crafts were at every turn. The food was great, nobody left hungry.

The third annual Special Angels Rodeo is scheduled November 12, 2016. If you decide to attend come ready to enjoy more smiling faces than you can imagine.

Shangri La Botanical Gardens joins in with their annual tradition. A very popular event, Christmas Strolls, hosted at the garden turns out be a creative food drive.

Area groups and individuals decorate Christmas trees along the walking path in the garden. Shangri La provides trees and lights. Trees are decorated with recyclable materials. Each tree is a unique creation.

Guests can enjoy the beautiful display as they ‘stroll’ through the garden. This event is held at night. Decorations with lights are setup along the paths. The decorated trees with lights and reflective decorations create a unique experience in the garden.

Guests donate non-perishable food items as the price of admission. Shangri La donates the food to Orange Christian Services. Orange Christian Services is then able to provide food to area residents in need.

There are many other wonderful events planned for the season. I hope you enjoy your favorites.

Happy holidays!

Bobby Tingle is publisher of The Orange Leader. You can reach him at