NWFL ‘wine fairy’ group delivers gifts, joy during COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Fairies are mythical creatures often depicted in cartoons, waiving their wands and granting wishes.

In Northwest Florida, fairies have come to life. “Wine Fairies” aren’t waving wands, but instead, they’re spreading love by delivering wine and other treats to your doorstep.

The “Local Wine Fairies — Pensacola” group on Facebook was founded by Pensacola resident Summer-Rain Bussard. Bussard says she founded the group after seeing similar Facebook groups throughout the country.

Using the group as a network, the wine fairies, or simply members of the Northwest Florida community, are delivering bottles of wine, food, and other items to their fellow wine fairies door steps. Women who are a part of the group often recruit their children to help deliver their “fairy baskets” anonymously. This is a way to keep the group’s mission all about spreading joy instead of receiving thanks.

The group is designed to promote giving and spreading kindness, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bussard said.

“We haven’t been hit as hard in Florida, but people are still seriously being affected by this pandemic,” Bussard said. “I can’t tell you how many people I know personally who are out of work, who are laid off, and just something as simple as a basket showing up to their door or even, or literally just a bottle of wine, it really uplifts somebody’s spirit. So, that’s all we do is focus on giving.”

Here’s how it works:

Facebook users go find the group on Facebook. They have to answer a few questions to be accepted into the group, which now about 7,000 members. One of those questions asks if you’re 21 or older.

Once you’re accepted, you find on the page an album of school pictures and logos. You find the school nearest to your home and comment your address. You can list your favorite wine or other food items you enjoy. This shows you’d like to be “Fairy’d,” according to the page rules.

The group then encourages members to give to others first in the form of wine, as the group’s name suggests, or other items like food.

When you’ve been “Fairy’d,” you comment a wine glass emoji to show others you have received gifts. This is a way to make sure the love is spread out among its members.

“We don’t want people sitting there at home waiting to get gifted,” Bussard said. “We want to keep paying this forward to the community.”

Casey Brown, who serves as a moderator for the group, said the demand to get in the group increases every day. Brown said the group gets nearly 100 requests to join each hour from residents from Destin, Florida, to Biloxi, Mississippi.

Brown says one of the best parts of the group is the anonymous giving.

“One of the big things that we want as this group is that when you drop (gifts) off, it’s not about having somebody send you a message or bring you back a basket,” she said. “We want to keep with the idea of giving and just providing somebody with something that really means something to them without asking for anything in return.”

Bussard said it has been rewarding to see the generosity the group has sparked.

“I just hope that this goes on for a long time, at least to get us through the other side (of the pandemic),” she said. “For me, it’s the most rewarding to see that I have been able to put a small helping hand into the community in bringing us together.”

To join the group, search Local Wine Fairies Pensacola on Facebook.

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