Community Stories

“When God Tells Me to Do Something, I Do It”

Last week, standing outside with a “FREE TP” sign would land you in the psych ward of the local hospital. This week, it earns you new respect from your fellow humans and maybe a slow clap from a distance — but unfortunately you won’t see it, because you’re socially distancing yourself. 

Packing the Shopping Cart

This week Tom Grosh, a Maryland native, braved the crowds and side-eye glances and packed his shopping cart full of toilet paper. Other customers probably thought he was one of “those people,” the ones driving the chaos by buying copious amounts of toilet paper, but he didn’t care. Tom had another plan. 

He loaded up his truck with 10 cases of toilet paper, parked outside a local barbershop and started handing it out for free.

“As I was sitting in (my) office doing some work at the end of the day, God said to me, ‘You gotta help your fellow man,’ ” Tom said. “I knew exactly where to go to get the toilet paper and went and bought it. My wife said, ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ And there was no hesitation — when God tells me to do something, I do it.”

Tom, his wife, niece and two friends stood outside waving “FREE TP” signs until their supply was all gone. 

But he’s not the only one showing kindness in these crazy days. 

Moms Supporting Janitors

Whether they like to admit it or not, moms can do anything, and they’re always a few steps ahead of you, no matter what the subject at hand is. 

Case in point: Some Vermont moms rallied around their school’s janitors when schools were shut down due to COVID-19. When a school staff member came down with suspicious symptoms, and the janitors were called into to sanitize the schools, the moms teamed up and raised more than $7,000 for them.

“I said that we need to recognize that these staff members … are going into potential contamination and a disaster zone, really, and putting themselves at risk,” one of the moms said.

“They were potentially exposing themselves to this virus and to harmful chemicals,” she added, to TODAY. “I think the comment made everyone realize that those were the people going right into it. That kind of started it.”

A Front-Porch Concert

Then there’s Taran, 9, who took his cello outside and played a 30-minute concert for his elderly neighbor.

Taran and his sister, Calliope, 6, heard their 78-year-old neighbor, Helena, was losing hope — and probably some sanity — after staying in her home for five days straight. 

The duo went to Helena’s front porch and played some of their favorites, including Bach and the Rolling Stones. 

“Well, I was just thrilled,” Helena said. “I sort of feel like a little kid.” 

Even in the midst of the chaos, stories about people like Tom, Taran and Calliope are making their way to the top of the stack, reminding people that we’re all in this together, no matter how many bright red banners CNN wants to flash at us.

About the author


Jessie Harbin

Jessie lives in Meridianville with her husband, baby and four dogs. She thrives on chaos, and loves finding good news stories where you least expect them.

Leave a Comment

Keep Up with Great Stories from the TN Valley

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from the Community Journal.

You have Successfully Subscribed!