An endearing new movement for neighborly kindness is putting a benevolent twist on the game of “Ding Dong Ditch-it.”
As a means of cheering up American communities during the COVID-19 outbreaks, mysterious groups of do-gooders known as “Wine Fairies” have been leaving booze and treats on people’s doorsteps.
The first Sisterhood of the Traveling Wine Facebook group was founded by a mom who wanted to spread joy by leaving bottles of wine on the doorsteps of strangers, friends, and neighbors.
Hundreds of other “Wine Fairy” Facebook groups with as many as 78,000 members have now appeared across the country as COVID-19 continues to keep everyone six feet apart.
The fairies collect the addresses of wine lovers in their communities and ask which varieties of wine they would prefer to receive. The members—dressed in wings, tutus, and magic wands—then tiptoe to people’s doors, place their gifts on the stoops, ring the bells, and run for cover.
“It’s all about bringing others happiness and making new relationships,” said 40-year-old Cara Rindell (pictured, above), who brought the movement to her home in Raleigh. “It starts off as a random act of kindness to a stranger and becomes a friendship with the neighbor you didn’t know you had.”
Her North Carolina chapter of the group now touts over 51,000 members and has an additional 3,000 on the waiting list.
“It was supposed to be just the Raleigh area, but now we are in ten states, hoping to eventually launch into all 50 states,” said Rindell. “It is called the Sisterhood of the Traveling Wine, but the group is co-ed and it isn’t just about wine. We want to eventually include children all the way up to grandparents.”
Rindell is now expanding and creating alternative versions of this gift-giving group, including the “Brotherhood of Booze and Beer” and a nonalcoholic version for kids.
After the pandemic, she hopes to expand the idea to larger, in-person social gatherings.
“Cruise lines are reaching out to me, about even having a cruise for the sisterhood,” said Rindell. “This group started during COVID, but it’s not going to stop after COVID. I think we always need to be spreading kindness and cheer.”