A Williams Lake Facebook group geared at anonymously paying it forward with beverages and snacks has garnered almost 1,500 members since it was started on May 7.
Bailey Hoolaeff and Jessica Kohnke created the page Wine/Snack Fairy-Ladies of WL after learning a similar idea was circulating in another community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I saw that a friend of mine from up north posted about the wine fairies on her personal Facebook, with a picture of a bag she was going to deliver,” Hoolaeff said. “So naturally I had to message her and ask what that was all about.”
After learning how it worked, she thought is was ‘so cool’ and that the ladies of Williams Lake would love it.
She reached out to Kohnke, who had already started another Facebook page.
“I really admired how organized she was with the page and I knew she would be the perfect person to create our page. We agreed it was a fantastic idea and Jess did her thing.”
Members of the group post their address, snacks and beverages of choice, and then somebody gets a person to ‘dust’ because Kohnke tags them.
Once a person receives a package they are supposed to post a photo on the Facebook page and delete their address off the site.
If they forget then Kohnke has been going in and doing the deleting.
“Bailey teases me that I’m the page mother,” she said.
Because of the page’s growing popularity they have stopped new members joining, so they can catch up.
“I think I have 400 people waiting to be accepted into the group,” Kohnke said.
The group in Alberta was called Wine Fairies, but they added snacks and beverages because they know some people don’t drink alcohol or could be pregnant that might appreciate participating.
“We hope it will help bring a smile to people in the days we are living,” Kohnke said. “It’s fun to read all the posts and see adult women writing about how exciting it was to run up to someone’s house, ring the doorbell and run away.”
Hoolaeff had hoped to help administer the page, but with working 10-hour shifts, has relied on Kohnke’s help.
“I would not have been able to do this without her, plus she is just a fantastic person with such a beautiful soul. I really admire it and I know other ladies do too.”
The wine fairy gifts bring light to a dark time, Hoolaeff added.
“Everyone has had a rough go during the COVID crisis and it’s really nice to know someone sees your post and thinks of you. Mental health wise it has cheered a lot of people up who have otherwise felt very alone during the isolation. I am very proud of Jessica. She and the amazing ladies of Williams lake are true rock stars with hearts of gold. I am very proud of my community.”
The two women said they met at the International Women’s Day Wellness Day Fair in Williams Lake in March of this year where they were both vendors.
Kohnke was born and raised in Williams Lake and has two daughters — almost three years old next month and one year old.
Hoolaeff has lived in Williams Lake for 13 years and has a 16-month-old daughter.