If you live in the East Contra Costa area and are looking for a way to spread some cheer, look no farther than the OG (Original Gangster) Booze Fairy Facebook page.
Oakley resident Angelina Santana, a hair stylist who was missing her clients and friends, decided to create a program where strangers sign up to give and receive gifts of goodies.
“I haven’t been able to work since March, and there were a few days that I kind of lost it, because I am always with people in my work, and I become a little depressed,” Santana said. “So I decided to do this with a couple of my girlfriends, just to see how it would work out.”
Santana began sprinkling treats on her friends’ porches and was so pleased the small gesture brought them joy. She decided to bring her idea to the community.
“I started my Facebook page on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend,” she said. “By the end of Saturday, I was so overwhelmed by the people who had come in, I had to get some help from my friends.”
The group currently has 3,100 members and is still growing. Santana, with the help of two friends, worked out a system so everyone who signs up gets boozed once. When new members join, they post a picture and some information about themselves, including what they do, their favorite treats and, of course, their drink of choice. Currently, about half the members have received gifts from their booze fairies.
Alcohol, while popular, is not a requirement. The purpose of the group is to bring a smile to a receiver’s face, and as Santana pointed out, something as simple as a flower can do that.
Kathleen Niesen signed up to be boozed when she heard about the page from a friend. The night she received her gift, she was brought to tears.
“My basket was so cute,” she recalled. “It was full all these great treats . . . I was so grateful and happy. I had had a long, bad day at work and to come home to this — someone lifting me up and saying there are people out there that care about you, and I’ve never met any of these people, and for someone to just go out of their way to do this for me — meant a lot. I literally cried.”
Neisen said her gift made her so happy, she couldn’t wait to pay it forward. She immediately chose someone to surprise with goodies. Her booze-ee was also grateful and paid forward the joy.
“That’s exactly what this is about, making people feel special,” Niesen said. “We have boozed over 1,000 people.”
Santana agrees, and said her inbox fills daily with messages and notes from people who have received gifts large and small on their porches and feel better for it. The group is having so much fun, plans for an event are being made, once the shelter-in-place restrictions are eased by the county.
“With everything going on right now, this is something that’s positive,” Niesen said. “We just want to love each other and lift each other up, and that’s what this was about, something positive in the world.”
To join the group, search “OG Booze Fairy (Brentwood/Oakley) surrounded areas” on Facebook and request to join.