In his sermon, Scott Poling shows a photo of himself buying toilet paper. “It was personalized toilet paper, with my name on it!” he jokes.

OSWEGO, Ill.—Pastor Scott and Carla Poling of Harvest New Beginnings are showing love to their neighbors in this time when some people lack basic necessities that can’t currently be found in stores.

When Scott learned that a nearby store would have toilet paper stocked the next day, he showed up when the store opened at 8 a.m. and waited in line to buy a package. “I can’t believe I waited in line outside a store for toilet paper,” he says in his online sermon March 22. “And then my wife and I had an idea.”

After buying the toilet paper, the couple walked through their neighborhood, giving away a roll with a note inside listing their cell phone number and letting people know they can call if they needed anything, like errands run or food and supplies bought. The Polings didn’t include the church’s name or website. “We just wanted to say, ‘We want to care for you’ and see how God would use that.” He adds, “And toilet paper evangelism was born.”

Several other people from the church are taking similar actions to show generosity, love, and kindness to their neighbors, such as leaving notes at doors to let people know they can call if they need anything. Others have volunteered to run errands and shop for church members who are seniors or have chronic health conditions.

Now is “a great opportunity to love and serve others within our church family and in our neighborhoods,” Scott says.