By Nicole Matheson
“I was sound asleep when I heard the doorbell a little before 8 a.m., I checked my camera from my phone and saw someone running away,” Stephanie Contreras said. “I sprung up from my bed yelling, ‘I got my basket!’”
Contreras is one among many who have been visited by the Sisterhood of the Traveling Fairies, a Facebook group devoted to surprising women over the age of 21 with door-dashing gift baskets. With more than 1,800 members and counting, The Sisterhood is bringing positive surprises and smiles across the tri-state area and Arizona. New members are signing up every hour by visiting the page.
Spreading The Joy
“It was so uplifting. I couldn’t wait to spread the joy,” Contreras continued. “My mother and I made four baskets and dropped them off just hours later. Dropping them off is even better then receiving. Sneaking up the driveway, ringing the doorbell and running away makes you feel like a kid again.”
Contreras’ experience isn’t isolated, as the baskets are being created and anonymously delivered all across the valley. Tammy Birchett-Jooris, is one of the many who logged on an joined the popular Facebook group. “I joined this group because I personally saw all the positive, happy, excited comments people were posting, during this very uncertain time – as we all were feeling alone,” Birchett-Jooris said. “This is what happens when you live in an area where people pull together! I’m thrilled to make baskets and make someone’s day, hour, moment or even second cheerful!”
Tristen LaRue, who is joining the Sisterhood in making and delivering baskets, shared her first experience receiving one. “I received my basket which was a margarita/chips and salsa theme, and was so excited when the doorbell rang. It’s crazy how something that doesn’t have to cost a lot can make you feel so special.”
How It Got Started
This is all thanks to the idea started by Melissa Carter, a brand new resident of Fort Mohave. Wanting to meet people, with inspiration from her good friend from high school Jennifer McKendrick Mendez, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Fairies was born. “One morning I woke up and it was kind of like a calling,” Carter said. She belonged to a similar Facebook group that operated in Tehachapi on a much smaller scale, and missed the sense of community it brought, as well as the ability to lift someone’s spirits. “Within hours, I was up to almost 1,000 people,” Carter recalled back to when she began the group a couple weeks ago.
Although the making and delivering of gift baskets is fun and rewarding, Carter mostly looks forward to the networking possibilities the adventure brings. She recently posted an inquiry to the group, wanting to get to know the ladies better and create a place where people can share their talents with others. She has recommended that entrepreneurs use the basket as a way to share their products or brand with people.
Women Lifting Women Up
It’s all about women lifting women up, either to remedy a bad day or just for fun. Lisa Marie Bethel received her first basket a week ago. “I received my basket on Mother’s Day and was shocked! I had just been added to the group and put my address on maybe two posts and that same day I got a delivery! I think the group is amazing and very uplifting! Love this idea!”
The gesture is catching fire as recipients are building their own baskets for others. “I’m passing out twelve this coming Tuesday! Six in Havasu and Six to Bullhead City, Mohave Valley, Golden Shores, and Fort Mohave areas,” Bethel said.
What is in the basket Bethel is preparing now? “This one I got a bunch of snacks: Doritos, pretzels, gummy bears…I got movie theatre size candy, little decorated cups I filled with tissue packs, lips glosses, 99 Long Island shooter and also a watermelon Rita, Bud Light, seltzer White Claw and a roll of toilet paper.”
Megan Cendelewski, a previous recipient, highlighted what she is placing in her basket which is to be delivered shortly, “Candy snack cups, little journals and pens, alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks. Sun glasses, nail polish and candles. Usually, I’ll pick a couple of colors and buy whatever I can find.”
Carter and her admins continue to monitor the Facebook group and they are finding more and more members to spread kindness and joy in a particularly difficult time. To join the spirit of giving and making lasting connections, check out the Facebook page and request permission to join. Women over 21 are eligible. For those who are not, be on the lookout for similar spin-off groups that have been started.