Wine Fairies of Long Island brighten spirits during the pandemic

The Wine Fairies of Long Island are “dusting” local communities with kindness and happiness during the pandemic.

Organizer Pamela Diehl says the Facebook group began with 100 people but grew to 32,000 in less than two months.

For the past 3 1/2 months, they have been bringing smiles and laughter to neighborhoods with gift packages.

“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 explains. “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?”

Many of the people in the group dress up in costumes such as pandas, turkeys, or Captain America, and of course, a pink fairy.

“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.

Those who join the group don’t have to necessarily dress up in a costume. They can simply just bring over a gift package and leave it on their neighbor’s doorstep.

Risa Fier and her husband have gone to 400 houses during the pandemic, all to just make people smile.

“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,” Fier says. “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.”

“People need to laugh and have a good time and I feel like that’s what we’re doing for people,” Destefano said.

On top of their daily “dustings,” the group has also raised thousands of dollars to give to food pantries by selling their T-shirts across Long Island.