Two women at the heart of a Facebook page aimed at supporting local businesses and women have been overwhelmed by the response.
In less than a month, Amber Flett and Kelly Glen of Williams Lake have seen their Cariboo hearts together page gather more than 700 members.
Women are actively sharing gift certificates to help businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic while supporting each other through the social media platform.
Flett, a mom of four, said before starting the group she thought she wanted a place where women could put aside differences and band together and keep the community strong.
“Women have been doing it for centuries and been through some incredibly difficult times,” she said. “Remembering that gives me so much hope during the difficult days, especially with Tyler, my husband, is working away for three weeks at a time.”
Flett said she imagined the times during the First World War with women staying back and taking over running ranches and tending and harvesting crops, all with the same concerns and more; fearing the safety of their family and loved ones far away at war and during a pandemic.
The Facebook group has really kept her grounded, she said, learning about some of the challenges women have been through and keep on going.
“That has encouraged me and given me strength in times when I was doing this whole physical distancing alone with the kids — and even when (my husband) is on time off, knowing Tyler has to leave again soon, it makes it less overwhelming.”
Glen, a mother of five, and a principal presently on maternity leave, said they took on the project not intending to garner recognition, but really to fill a need in the community.
“Not only are local businesses struggling, but so are we,” Glen said. “The loss of connection is impacting all of us so deeply. The simple acts of kindness, the recognition of similarities, and the new connections made with people you have never met can truly brighten your day during an otherwise stressful and often lonely time.”
Glen said the page is also demonstrating that positivity and kindness lives strong in our community.
“Our local businesses have always been such amazing supporters of groups and events in town, so it has been great to see our town rally behind them now.”
Flett said the whole local group of women are truly just humbling.
“I think this group just shows how many amazing women we have in our community and how truly lucky we are to have so many amazing businesses in the community. Every single person in this group is a part of it all.”
She has also fully appreciated Glen’s abilities, she added.
“Kelly has been utterly amazing in support and building this group up.”
Social media can be another medium for compassion, Flett added.
“It can also helps us do some serious inner reflection. Honestly, this pandemic has taught me so many things.”
Giving a shout out to first responders and their families, those supporting them, she said the compassion and the courage is ‘absolutely incredible.’
Glen said while she was out recently doing an errand it struck her how now everything is being done at a distance and is so impersonal.
“Although almost entirely online, there is something acutely personal about this Facebook page. Women share stories, fears, dreams and anecdotes, and that is so empowering and beautiful,” she said.
When asked how the they met the two women said their sons are friends and through the pandemic have become ‘porch buddies.’