What first started as a private Facebook group amongst friends, now has over 3,000 members.
The group known as the Sisterhood of the Traveling Wine, has been delivering gift baskets amongst a Detroit neighborhood to bring joy to women throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.
Their name comes from “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” a novel and movie that shares the story of four best friends.
Tracy Murley started the group earlier this month in hopes to bring cheer amongst her community, and since, thousands of baskets have been delivered.
“It is a true ding dong ditch to bring happiness and to let you feel like you’re being supported by an amazing community,” Murley said to Good Morning America. “It is not an expectation to receive, it is an opportunity for giving, and when you do receive, you know someone is there for you.”
The mom of two was given the idea to start up the Sisterhood in her home of Canton, Michigan, after being invited to do the same thing in another part of Michigan where she grew up. She also explained that since the beginning of the pandemic, her family has committed to doing a good deed every day.
“We delivered cookie kits and games and paid for people’s groceries in line behind us,” she explained to Good Morning America. “It was getting to the point of, ‘What can we do next?’ and then I saw the Sisterhood of the Traveling Wine and was like this is perfect timing.”
How does it work? Members simply post their information, and other members can simply choose to “wine” them, or deliver a basket to their doorstep.
Another member of the Canton Sisterhood of the Traveling Wine, Lyssa McClenahan, explained that it is not just wine they receive. Some gift baskets have included coffee, non-alcoholic beverages, food and self-care items.
“Someone saw on my personal Facebook page that I got a grill and made me a basket filled with grilling essentials,” McClenahan said. “It’s not really about receiving a bottle of wine. It’s just letting people know I’m here for you if you need something.”
The group in Canton has grown so large that local businesses are now offering items to include in the baskets, with a clothing company making t-shirts with 70% of the proceeds going to a woman’s shelter in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
“We so get lost in everything we do every day and running kids here and there and everywhere and we get so competitive,” Murley said. “I think this has really united our community and opened us up to where we’re willing to know our neighbor. Maybe it took a pandemic to get us here, but let’s not lose it.”