While many are at home affected by the pandemic one way or another, a Guelph woman decided to use this time to uplift other women.
“Everybody is struggling right now and I thought this was a great way for women to uplift other women,” said Crystal Timmings, creator of the Facebook group Guelph and Area Wine Ninja's, a women-only group that sees members anonymously drop off baskets filled with a bottle of wine and other goodies to other members of the group.
Those other goodies might include chocolates, bath bombs, inspirational quotes, wine, magazines, makeup and facial masks also find their way into the baskets.
Timmings decided to use the free time on her hands during the pandemic to administer the group along with three other members.
After members of the group share their address privately, other members of the group secretly — and like a ninja — drop a gift basket. Those who receive a gift basket are said to be“ninja’d.”
“It’s not about the price tag at all,” said Timmings.
“It’s whatever you want, your favourite thing you want to share with somebody.”
Created a week ago, the group is already nearing 700 members and has seen over 100 gift boxes delivered to women in Guelph and surrounding areas.
Because safety concerns rose out of a similar group in Alberta and Newfoundland, Timmings said the safety of the members is of the utmost concern and members are asked not to share their personal information on the page if they have any concerns.
“There’s an off chance that they’ll walk out the door and see a basket waiting for them,” said Timmings.
She said the reactions from the women in the group is what she lives for during this time.
“Seeing them smile and saying ‘I had a bad day and you turned it all around’ is really amazing,” said Timmings about the many women who feel really down, miss their family, friends and the routine of going to work.
“I get so many comments like ‘thank God for this group. I look forward to it every day. It’s really uplifting.’”
Group member Michelle Farrow who has already sent two gift baskets said she loves seeing the posts in the group of people experiencing joy after opening their presents.
“It’s been a rough year and anything we can do to make it better is all worthwhile,” said Farrow.
“I feel happy, and excited along with them like I am there with them and it’s Christmas. I feel like a part of a great community. This is something that I hope continues on even after this is over.”
Timmings said apart from gift-giving, many new friendships are developing as a result of the uplifting sentiments in the group amid the pandemic.
“It’s like a sisterhood,” said Timmings.
She said the group aims to go on as long as it possibly can to allow women in the community to be there for each other during difficult times.