For Jolene Wood, giving gifts has always been more fun than receiving them.
Normally reserved for birthdays and Christmas, the gift of giving has allowed her to start the Golden Wine Ninjas Facebook group.
The group, which invites anyone who “loves giving gifts and wants to find new friends to give gifts to”, is Wood’s way of spreading a little joy during a difficult time for many.
“I thought that maybe 50 people would join, when it got to 200 I was shocked and we’re still growing,” said Wood.
“I was actually the first person to give a gift to get the group rolling.”
Those who are interested in participating are welcomed to join the group, with one key exception – no boys allowed. Participants also need to be 19 years old and live in the Golden area.
Members post their name, address and any special requirements to sign up to receive a gift. When they receive their gift, they delete their address to avoid being “ninja’d” twice. Wood says they’ve just wrapped up their first round of gift-giving and are at the beginning of a second round.
The idea for the group was inspired by similar groups in the surrounding area, with groups based out of Calgary and other centres across B.C. Wood was concerned that due to Golden’s remote location, that those in town would be excluded from these others groups.
“I thought it would be nice to start our own page, I saw how successful it was in other places and knew that we wouldn’t be included,” said Wood.
“It’s blown up like crazy and gotten everyone excited to be kind and give gifts during this tough time. It’s all Golden people doing it for Golden people.”
The success of the group has made it a bit difficult for Wood to manage her day-to-day life while also being the admin of the group and so she has put out a request for help within the group for new people to join her.
“I tried to limit how much I’m actually looking at the page but I’m getting notifications all day long,” said Wood.
“I have a two-year-old at home and being on your phone all the time, I don’t want to be like that.”
While she’s been giving to the group, Wood has also received her own gift from the wine ninjas.
“To get one was awesome too because they involved my daughter as well, so it was exciting for all of us,” said Wood.
Overall, Wood says the response to the group as been positive and that people are excited to be a part of the ninjas.
There is a $25 cap on the gifts.