Feeling lost and upset during the coronavirus quarantine? That’s where the Wine Fairies of Long Island come in! These amazing men and women have been keeping their communities happy, smiling, and thirst-quenched during the pandemic!
The Wine Fairies of Long Island
So what are the Wine Fairies of Long Island exactly? Well, it all started with the simple act of gifting a bottle of wine to a neighbor during these hard times. Almost like the tooth fairy, but for wine! Connie Bayer, the group’s creator, started by making little gift bags for her neighbors. Like so many others, she wanted to check on those close to her, while staying safe. Bayer never expected her gifts to mean so much to their recipients nor start a movement. However, it did! Bayer’s actions inspired others to do the same for those close to them. Now, the presents can include practically everything from snacks to bath bombs, which are delivered at the recipient’s house in a “dusting.”
“Our group is about giving. The point is about doing something nice for somebody,” said Bayer. “You put a smile on somebody’s face. So many people are having a good time with this, and it’s become contagious.” Now, the entire group is exploding faster than anyone ever predicted!
After the trend hit Facebook, it really went viral. Now, there are “Wine Fairies” all across the state of Long Island. Pamela Diehl, one of the organizers, also felt surprised by the rapid growth of the idea. However, in her eyes, it makes sense when you think about it! “You just make a little package: Wine, goodies, treats. People do stuff for kids, and you bring it to somebody’s doorstep. You can do it anonymously if you want, or you can sign your name to it,” Diehl said. “We’re all stuck home with our children. Wine showing up on your doorstep to get you through the day, what’s better than that?”
Most people from the groups like to dress up when they do their “dusting.” And regardless if they are costumed as a turkey with a saddle, a panda, or an actual fairy, they are always welcome visitors! “Dressing up as characters, it makes people laugh, have a good time. People enjoy it, and it brightens up their day a little bit,” says member Aaron Destefano. “People need to laugh and have a good time, and I feel like that’s what we’re doing for people.”
Join The Fun
If you want to be a part of the fun – its pretty easy! Make some care packages, don some costumes, the quality of which is not important, and share some smiles in your neighborhood. Risa Fier, who has visited over 400 houses with her husband, has some tips for those beginning: “I’ve pinpointed certain people. People that are going through hard times, single parents, people that are just not in a good place right now,” she said. “And I love the reaction that I get. I’ll be walking around, and people are looking when I go on main streets, and I’m dressed as the chicken or the poop. I get a lot of questions and a lot of stares and stuff, and I get a lot of laughs.”
But it’s not just about laughs. Members of the group also collected thousands of dollars amid the pandemic by selling T-shirts. They donated it to various food pantries. “If I hadn’t started this during COVID-19, it probably wouldn’t have taken off because people have busy lives,” Bayer said. And once the pandemic passes, she wants this to be a tremendously happy memory that will shine through the bad ones. “This is what I hoped it would turn out to be.”