Toilet Paper Panic: Pasadena woman barters baked goods for TP amid coronavirus emergency

PASADENA, Calif. (KABC) -- Who ever thought toilet paper could become such a hot commodity?

Toilet paper panic is now a pandemic of its own as shoppers empty grocery store aisles and hoard the precious rolls amid the coronavirus emergency. It's especially problematic for the disabled, like Brandi Frausto of Pasadena.

"I'm basically shut-in for the most part," Frausto tells Eyewitness News.

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Brandi uses a walker to get around because she suffers from fibromyalgia, mild seizures and bursitis. She tried to buy toilet paper last week, but says the paper goods aisle at her local Vons looked like a "barren wasteland."

"Watching all this hoarding news, I was just ... why would you do that to all the people that live around you?" says Frausto."

Frausto turned to the social networking site Nextdoor and posted her urgent plea for TP.

"A couple hours later, I saw that I had a message and it was from this gentleman Donald, who said he had some and he would gladly bring it over," Frausto says.

Donald Berry, who lives about five minutes from Frausto, says it's all about neighbors helping neighbors.

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"So when I saw Brandi's post, and I had just been to CVS and bought two big packs for us just to make sure we were OK," Donald tells Eyewitness News. "In a situation like this, if there's anything we can do to extend kindness to someone else, it's a good idea."

Frausto says a short time after the pair exchanged contact information, she found an enormous pack of toilet paper outside her Pasadena home.

"In my tent, was -- oh my God," Frausto recalls. "I almost started crying when I saw it."

Frausto posted again on Nextdoor, this time writing that her "faith in humanity" was restored.

Because Frausto is disabled, she's also out of work and couldn't offer to pay for the toilet paper.

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She had an idea though: how about a trade?

"I did the next best thing, which is my home-baked goods," says Frausto.

"So I've got a real nice plate of brownies headed my way," says Berry. "I don't know when, but I'm looking forward to it. Yeah, so that's really sweet."

Berry told Eyewitness News he's "made a new friend," and believes that kindness toward others could be the silver lining of coronavirus pandemic.

"Thank you so much, you were my angel that day," Frausto says of Berry.

"It gave me hope during this pandemic and that's probably an even better gift of all of this," she said.
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