When Brenda Curnow’s daughter joined a “Wine Fairies” group in Kamloops, Curnow thought it sounded like a fun idea to try in Merritt.

She and Vicki Klassen created a Facebook group called Merritt Wine Fairies, expecting some of their friends to join and take part in the idea. To their surprise, the group soon grew to more than 900 members from all over the Nicola Valley.

“We were blown away when we had 200 before we even went to bed on Saturday,” said Curnow, after she and Klassen created the group on May 9.

“And not even a week later 900!”

“We thought we would create the group as we have many of the same Facebook friends and it would be fun,” explained Klassen.

“And the fun exploded to the group now having over 900 members. Everyone seems to be having a blast being a fairy and seeing the joy it brings to someone’s day.”

When a new member joins, they make a post in the group with their address and their preferred drink. Another group member then acts as a “fairy”, delivering the gift to their doorstep. And while the group may be called Wine Fairies, gifts range from various alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to gift baskets, gift cards, chocolates and snacks, bath and body products, plants and flowers and even home and garden décor.

Although many are both giving and receiving gifts, there is no requirement to give a gift to receive a gift, or vice versa. Many fairies often make multiple deliveries, choosing some members they know and some members they don’t to surprise with a drop off.

“I think my favourites are the one who dressed up,” said Klassen, referring to people who take their fairy role seriously, donning costumes complete with wings.

“And then just seeing the post on how happy a basket has made someone’s day.”

Within the group there are indeed candid posts about how being a fairy or receiving a gift from one has helped ease people’s stress or depression and anxiety, particularly at a time when many are more isolated than they would normally be due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“One of our members… it was her 65 birthday and her husband asked what she wanted, and she wanted to ‘fairy’ people,” said Curnow.

“She got me yesterday! We have had posts about people moving here and not making friends and this group has brought people together. It is positive and so kind and friendly, just what Vicki and I were looking for when we started.”

Curnow and Klassen both believe that performing these random acts of kindness and engaging so many people is a good thing for givers, receivers, and the community.

“I love how it brought our community together,” said Curnow.

“I think the timing was right. People needed to see positive interaction. I am grateful for how much happiness it has brought to people that needed it.”