Sorrow-filled encounter leads local woman to provide toilet paper, essential items to neighbors

Posted at 8:42 PM, Apr 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-25 20:40:05-04

TOANO, Va. - It looked like an ordinary farm stand, right off of Richmond Road in Toano. But it had some extra items that April Fletcher and her family have been looking for but could not find in stores.

"It seems like you have to go to tons of stores to find something,” Fletcher said, standing next to her daughter and her daughter’s friend, “and by the time you get to the stores it's all gone."

These items – toilet paper, sanitizer, among other items – that disappeared from stores due to panic shopping caused by the coronavirus pandemic, also known as COVID-19.

The items -- that some residents said are harder to find in rural areas, as previously reported -- were rounded up by Gail White to help her neighbors in this rural part of the Peninsula.

"I have children, I have parents, I have aunts and uncles, and friends,” White told News 3. “Very disturbing to know that some of them are sitting there wondering when their next roll of toilet paper is?"

She said she wanted to help her neighbors after an encounter she had at a store. It was a moment she met someone stricken with grief.

"One day I was in the store and there was an elderly lady that was in there and she was almost in tears because she couldn't find toilet paper,” White explained. “I said, ‘let me run home and run back and I'll give you some.’”

It may have started with White’s idea, but she sad she had the backing of the community as well. Local businesses – such as Lofty Dreams Farms, Eggheads Diner, Dollar General, just to name a few – donated the items.

Another business was Old City Barbeque that donated dinners for the give-away attendees.

"Everybody helping out everybody is always the way to go,” Vernon Giddy, the owner of Old City Barbeque, told News 3. “It was just easy for us to work with her, to try and get, you know, some food out to some people."

With all news reports surrounding the coronavirus, White said she wanted to help bring some good news amid the pandemic to her community.

"Maybe people can see there's a little bit of light and that everything is going to be okay,” White said.

White said she plans to host another give-away in two weeks. She added the details will be posted to her Facebook business page, Sinfully Good by Fluffy Ninja.

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