Many residents of Fayette County and surrounding areas have been taking part in various gift giving and receiving activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although the concept of gifting one another didn’t start locally, residents have gone out of their way to bring it here with “Wining,” “Bro’ing,” and “Candying.”
Essentially, the above activities involve putting together a gift basket of various items to leave on someone’s porch. The items can be random or tailored to the individual’s needs.
“Wining” is geared toward the ladies in the community, and while the basket may involve wine, the wine can be substituted for other drinks such as coffee. Often, these baskets come with various other items that include self-care products such as face-masks or comfort snacks.
“Bro’ing” is geared toward the gentleman in the community. These baskets appear to contain some form of alcohol, such as beer, as well as a variety of other items. Not all baskets have alcohol placed in them as they can be tailored to the individual’s needs and age.
“Candying” is geared toward the children in the community. This is a way to make a child smile or for other kids missing their friends and schoolmates to connect. Child-friendly baskets of snacks and/or toys are given.
The gifts going around aren’t restricted to the above as individuals get creative to bring a smile to those they can reach.
There are various Facebook groups that have been created to help residents in the local and surrounding areas to connect those giving and receiving gifts, to share experiences while taking part in these activities, as well as safety tips/reminders such as not going alone when leaving a gift somewhere, being mindful of animals on properties, etc.
According to Duncan, she began the local group as a way to uplift and keep everyone positive when it is much needed.
“Some of us are fortunate to be able to gift others at a time when so many are out of work, and it’s also created a lot of joy just being able to find ways to connect with the ladies of our community,” wrote Duncan.
“It’s brought joy to many — both those giving and receiving. Some have even learned of some tasty new things they didn’t know about,” wrote Lindsey Rumer, who acts as one of the admins for the group. “My kids loved delivering items, and I think it was a good lesson for them at their young age.”
Megan Keaton and local Siera Gilbert, the admins of two Facebook groups, “Coffeeing and Snacking in Ross/ Pickaway/ Fayette County” and “Beer Up For Bros,” created the groups with the idea of inclusion for all ages.
Initially, the snack group was started up after Keaton was kicked out of Wining groups due to being underage, according to Gilbert. The two then created the Bro’ing group so gentleman in the community could also be recognized.
“We’re so amazed that it got this big so far and can’t wait for more people to join and see how big it gets in the future. I’ve candied a few people and will be out doing it again next week. I plan to do 15 more on Thursday. I love giving to people and making people smile. We all really need this positivity in these trying times,” wrote Megan.
“The only rules were that you had to give back to others and had to be honest about your age. No under age beering,” explained Gilbert. “We’re just trying to make sure everyone gets to get some love in this time of uncertainty. All of our lives have changed in some way. So it’s our way of giving back. We love it.”
The Facebook group “Kindness for Kids” was recently created by Kathi Carson where parents can request baskets or assist with making them for others in order to be a child’s “fairy.”
“I thought the kids deserved to be wined so to speak. I am raising grandchildren ages 3 and 4, and they are the ones who give the kids their care packages. I have had members of the Facebook page bring me bags of items for packages. It’s been very rewarding plus teaching my grandchildren how to give is priceless. Everyone is going through something so you never know what a little act of kindness can do for someone,” explained Carson by email.
Please note that people taking part, or who plan to take part, in these activities are choosing to do so at their own discretion and judgment. See inside article for more on these activities.
The following comments were collected via Facebook from individuals who are part of the recently made group, “Beer Up For Bros.”
“Megan Marie is my niece and we are so proud of her. We have had a blast making baskets and bags. We have surprised 10 people so far. We have wined, shined (moonshine), beered, bro’ed, candied and spa basketed. The greatest joy truly is in giving. We are looking forward to our next round which will include another moonshine basket, spa basket, wine and cheese and pasta. We truly are all in this together. Let’s continue to uplift and support each other.” — Ginia Posey
“I love doing doing this in this time of need. Just to put a smile on someone’s face makes me happy. I know how it feels to have anxiety or depression and to make someone happy makes me happy.” —Jeff Gilpen
“We take part in this to show love to the community in this time so that it let’s everyone know that there’s caring people still who love to make other’s smile.” —Travis Ivey
“The way I feel is everybody needs to be appreciated in these times of need and what better way — it shows that we all care about each other whether we know each other or not.” —Katelynn Miller
The following comments were collected via Facebook from various individuals who are part of the Facebook group “Wined by Locals.”
“My precious 10 year old, Cara, decided to take her own money and put together candy bags and put them on porches like the ladies in the group was doing with wine. She put little notes that said, ‘Candied by Cara Dean,’ hoping to put a smile on some children’s faces. Some kids know her and some kids don’t. In one day, she passed out over 20 bags. This coming weekend she is passing out about 20 more. She is wanting to do this every weekend since all of her sports have been cancelled. She has received some gifts in return, and it makes her want to give even more.” —Pamela Wilson
“I have been on the giving and receiving end, and it is such a nice and thoughtful thing to brighten up someone’s day. My kids were also ‘candied’ by Cara Dean (Belle Aire Intermediate student).” —Brittany Rogers
“I was wined twice on my 30th anniversary. One of my baskets included wine glasses with ‘happy 30th anniversary.’ It’s nice to do for others and to possibly take our minds off of what we have all been dealing with. I got to spend the day on Friday shopping with my girls, making up and delivering baskets. We had a lot of fun.” —Angie Davis
“Since I don’t do wine, I was coffeed Sunday. It made my day. I haven’t been well this past week, and it really helped a lot. Thanks Kelly!” —Emma Knisley
“I’ve been Coffeed since I don’t drink alcohol. I got blessed a few times just in the same day. Been going through some very rough patches — my boyfriend was just diagnosed with a severe liver disease and has been in the hospital getting treatment, so it truly was a Godsend to me and put a little sunshine where there was a little darkness.” —Barbara Gilpen
“My husband, Rich, and I are participating because being able to put even the smallest of smiles on someone else’s face is so rewarding. We are in four separate groups — three local and one in Wilmington where he works, and have gifted as we could and will continue as we can. We are blessed. We are humbled. We are a community truly in this together!” —Karrie Looney
“I came home Saturday afternoon to find a beautiful basket, rug and a card on my porch. As I read the very inspiring card from a very unexpected local friend, I thought to myself how awesome this was. Someone I never expected just put a huge smile on my face with such a simple gesture. Not gonna lie, I was super excited to go shopping and pay it forward myself. What a wonderful way to spread some joy and happiness in this crazy time. I’ve seen more happy posts than bad lately. Complete strangers making baskets full of goodies and delivering them to unsuspecting recipients. Feeling blessed to have played a part in such a fun group.” —Heather Tilton
“I enjoy doing. I found an older lady on here that I was able to put a smile on her face as she has been locked up in her home since March. Made my day!” —Kris Hunt
“I wined six people and beered a bro to pay it forward. The older lady that Kris Hunt wined was my mother. She was completely tickled, so I wanted to make a few smile.” —Kim Brewer
“I decided to participate but in a different way. I gifted two ladies with coffee instead of alcohol, because I am a recovering drug addict, and I have a personal preference of not purchasing alcohol. I gifted a fellow recovering addict as well. I took part again, and I gifted four complete strangers. I can’t even explain the joy it brought me. Two of the ladies I gifted are expecting so I was sure to include their babies. Three of the four had children that I also included. I loved getting messages back of how much they enjoyed their gifts. I was gifted back once by a lady I have never met, and she included the sweetest card! It’s an amazing feeling giving to others.” —Heather Olley
“I have been ‘wined,’ and it felt great especially since it included a shirt that she (Lisa) had made for me. The best part was I got my three girls involved in helping me deliver 11 baskets this (past) weekend. They had so much fun dropping the baskets on the porch, knocking and running back to the car. We even made up a couple of movie/snack boxes to drop to their friends. We definitely plan on doing more. I lost my dad in January this year, and his birthday was Sunday, May 3 so I wanted to do something for others to help distract my thoughts a little, and the weather was beautiful to be out dropping off baskets.” —Lori Havens
“I got wined with a really nice basket from a young lady I have loved like my daughter. A few days later, I got another tub full of goodies from a complete stranger. I actually cried. I was so blessed. We have now become friends. It has been so rewarding and the warmth it gives you is what we all need. Thank you ladies from Fayette county and surrounding areas. May God Bless everyone of you! And I have showered my love and friendship with a basket to a young lady who was there for my young sister when she was dying with cancer. I could never repay her for her kindness and love, that’s why I picked her.” —Susan Eckle
“Although it felt amazing to receive, it felt even more amazing to give. I am a recovering addict, and I listed that I didn’t drink alcohol and was kinda nervous about someone not meaning to give alcohol but, to my surprise, I was respected and received coffee. It is so joyful how our community has come together in all of this craziness going on. Such a wonderful feeling — proud of our community and to be a part of it!” —Tara Stallman
“I live in Madison county. I was asked to join the group and at first I wasn’t sure what to expect until I got ‘wined’ for the first time. It was a total game changer for me. I’m a disabled mom who is separated from my husband, and I had been in a ‘funk’ for so long. Getting that gift with all the goodies snapped me right out of my distasteful mood. I instantly went shopping so I could ‘wine’ others and let me tell you, I had a blast shopping for them. It was such a feeling of satisfaction putting together the gifts knowing that I was going to sneak and surprise someone else with hopefully the same smile I got when I received mine.” —Tiphany Chaffin
“This has been such a thoughtful, fun distraction from all the crazy in the world. My daughter and I have been wined twice. We had such a great time paying it forward and wining others. It doesn’t matter the amount that was spent or the size of the gift, it was the thought and time put into the gift. It was such a great feeling just knowing someone thought of us. There are some very giving people in our community.” —Amy Whitworth
“My mom (Krista) and I have wined over 10 ladies. Some who we know, some we don’t. Receiving a basket from someone who just wants to let you know they’re thinking about you is such a great feeling and reminds you that people don’t always suck. We are lucky to be able to do something like this at times like these. The smiles on everyone’s faces and spreading the love around the community is just so amazing to me. A great pick me up for all involved.” —Miranda Taylor
“I can’t say enough about this group. It has brought so much joy and happiness to my daily life seeing how our community is blessing complete strangers either by wining, bro’ing, or candying,” wrote Danielle Hune.
According to Hune, she recently had an emergency appendectomy and while in the hospital someone had Wined her.
“Once I was home from the hospital, I was able to check out my awesome surprise,” explained Hune. “My 4-year-old daughter, Chloe, was so excited to help me check out all my goodies and went on about how nice that was that someone did that for me. This not only blessed me, the recipient, but also my 4-year-old. She went on to say that she wanted to Wine someone.”
Hune and her daughter have been reading the posts and watching the videos together of those taking part in the gift giving.
“(On Sunday) she asked her dad what they were ‘gonna get into.’ He said, ‘I’m not sure yet.’ Her response made my heart burst. She said, ‘dad, lets go make somebody’s day,’ and then asked if he wanted to wine or bro somebody. Out of all this craziness, this right here is the biggest lesson— loving your neighbor as yourself. Treating others how you want to be treated and spreading joy, with a simple act of kindness.”
“I’m beyond blessed to have my parents up from Georgia to help me mend from surgery, and they (recently) went out with my daughter to get her items so that we can wine, bro and candy some lucky recipients,” wrote Hune. “A huge thank you to whoever started this random act and to all of those who have been a part of it. Stay healthy and keep spreading joy!”
The following was submitted by email:
Krissy Bethel explained she is a stay-at-home mom with a 10-year-old son and a 12-year-old daughter who have been staying inside. Once Bethel saw groups picking up with gifting, she commented on a friend’s post and was Wined.
After being wined, “I felt I couldn’t wine someone fast enough, because it felt so good to be thought of. So I Beered a friend of ours down the road. I knew then it was the feeling of giving not receiving that I wanted. As I returned home, the kids were kind of sour they didn’t get anything. Then we noticed the snack group. In my situation, it’s hard to find an activity to entertain both kids equally. My son has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair, so I knew he couldn’t do the drop and run.”
After purchasing supplies, Bethel explained her sons helped create goodie bags for other boys while her daughter helped create them for other girls. They made ten total and were able to deliver them last Friday.
“My daughter ran and dropped as my son handed her each bag with the name on it. That way they were both involved. The happiness on their faces, knowing they were making others happy, was priceless,” explained Bethel. “Later that day, my daughter was having a rough day, and we had a knock at our door. ‘You’ve been snacked’ took the tears away and a smile came instantly.”
By last Sunday, Bethel explained they saw the guys group and someone decided to Beer her husband, who is an essential farmer.
“I found myself getting more excited to make baskets and pass them on than to receive,” she wrote. “I also had nominated my mother and grandma to be wined and they both were. My mom’s driving a CPL counties away. To be delivered to there blew her away that someone would care that much. My grandma, being 82, had never seen anything like this but couldn’t wait to gift someone. My mom gifted a close friend that’s a nurse who wasn’t even in the group, but she deserved it.”
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @JennMWoods.