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Wine fairies dusting Carroll County with ‘positivity and joy’ during coronavirus pandemic

Judy Hemler of Finksburg shows off some pails filled with wine and other gifts as she prepares to make a drop for the Carroll County Wine Fairy group on Wednesday, May 20.
Judy Hemler of Finksburg shows off some pails filled with wine and other gifts as she prepares to make a drop for the Carroll County Wine Fairy group on Wednesday, May 20. (Brian Krista/Carroll County Times)

A popular trend in Maryland has made its way to Carroll County in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Wine fairies” have made appearances in several counties across the state within the past month, with people dressing up in fairy outfits and other costumes to spread positivity and cheer.

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Mandy Corns, a Westminster resident, started a Facebook group called the “Carroll County Wine Fairy” about three weeks ago and said the page had over 1,000 members within the first few days.

Members post when they will be “dusting” — that is, delivering beverages and other goodies — in the community. Those who wish to receive gifts from that particular “wine fairy” can provide their address in the post or through a private message to that person.

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“We’ve seen other counties doing them and I waited a while to see if somebody would start one around here, but I didn’t see anything for a while,” Corns said. “I thought, you know, I think this could be a good thing to give back to the community.”

Judy Hemler of Finksburg prepares pails filled with wine and other gifts a she gets ready to make a drop for the Carroll County Wine Fairy group on Wednesday, May 20.
Judy Hemler of Finksburg prepares pails filled with wine and other gifts a she gets ready to make a drop for the Carroll County Wine Fairy group on Wednesday, May 20. (Brian Krista/Carroll County Times)

Wine fairies can choose to remain anonymous or provide their names for those they do a dusting for — some even make up their own nicknames. Those who receive a gift package are expected to do the same for another neighbor to keep the trend rolling.

“Every day there is a post from someone saying how wonderful this is and I made a post as an admin to make sure everyone in the group is doing well,” Corns said. “I don’t expect to be dusted every day but people have dusted me a lot, just to say thank you.

“I received three [Monday].”

Corns said the gifts go far beyond just wine and other alcoholic beverages, in order to appeal to those who do not drink. She has dusted people with soda, tea and other alternative options as well.

Members of the Carroll County Wine Fairy Facebook group have since expanded to create groups of their own.

Corns said other admins from the wine fairy group created the “Sisterhood of the Traveling Magic Coffee Beans Carroll County MD” and another formed groups for kids called “Carroll County Kids’ Fairies” and “Carroll County Kids Fairy Dusting.”

Corns’ wine fairy group is designed for women, according to one of her posts, and there is a separate group for men, titled “Carroll County Beer Buddies," which carries a similar purpose to that of the wine fairy group.

Corns has two young children who love participating in this trend as well, she said.

“The kids went out with us [Monday] and got stuff to make six bags for six kids,” Corns said. “They’re loving it. We put toys in the bags, toothbrushes and stuff, juices, snacks, and other odds and ends.”

Finksburg resident Judy Hemler said one of her good friends from high school invited her to the Carroll County Wine Fairy Facebook group a few weeks ago when it was just getting started.

By Friday, the group boasted nearly 4,000.

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Judy Hemler of Finksburg shows off some pails filled with wine and other gifts as she prepares to make a drop for the Carroll County Wine Fairy group on Wednesday, May 20.
Judy Hemler of Finksburg shows off some pails filled with wine and other gifts as she prepares to make a drop for the Carroll County Wine Fairy group on Wednesday, May 20. (Brian Krista/Carroll County Times)

“I like the idea of getting involved, especially nowadays in quarantine when everyone is feeling pretty down and needs something to lift their spirits,” Hemler said. “It sounded like the perfect idea and a great way to spread extra love and positivity throughout the community.”

Hemler said she goes out about once a week and made her fourth delivery on Wednesday.

“I like seeing all of the positivity and love on Facebook,” Hemler said. “I like seeing how excited people get when they receive the baskets. It doesn’t matter if I ever receive a basket, but the fun part is sprinkling around and meeting all these different ladies throughout the community.”

Corns said some of the group members will dust nurses and other healthcare professionals working on the front lines during the pandemic. It takes a few hours to gather the necessary items for each basket of goodies but it gives these do-gooders something to look forward to while the country is sheltered in place.

“It’s very important for the community to come together to spread positivity and joy,” Corns said. “Just looking forward to something during all of this will put a smile on your face whether it’s your first or fifth time getting dusted. It’s, wow.”

Judy Hemler of Finksburg gets ready at her home, preparing to make a drop for the Carroll County Wine Fairy group on Wednesday, May 20.
Judy Hemler of Finksburg gets ready at her home, preparing to make a drop for the Carroll County Wine Fairy group on Wednesday, May 20. (Brian Krista/Carroll County Times)

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