The latest COVID-19 social distancing trend taking over the internet in Alberta is Wine Ninja.
This trend started after a few Alberta women including one of the founders, Shannon Stubbert, from Red Deer came up with the idea of how great it would be to receive a surprise wine delivery.
Stubbert and her friend were drinking wine and talking on the phone one night, lamenting that they hadn’t seen each other for months. Their conversation turned to joking about how they should make wine deliveries to each other ninja style; and when they ran out of wine how it would be nice to have a wine ninja drop more by the door.
That night Stubbert and her friend created the Alberta Wine Ninja’s Facebook group.
“The aim of the group was to do something special for your neighbour even if you didn’t know her, to brighten her day in these uncertain and isolated times,” Stubbert said.
Stubbert says that her and her friend expected the group to maybe grow to a 1,000 members but were shocked to see it explode to over 50,000 members in six days.
The premise of Alberta Wine Ninja is that you join the group, find the area you live in under albums and enter your address and what you like to enjoy as a treat in the comments. It can include, non-alcoholic drinks, wine, coolers, chocolate, or trinkets etc.
Once you have been “ninja’d” you simply edit your status in the page to include a wine glass emoji to symbolize that you have received a package.
Women across Alberta have not only been receiving anonymous gift bags and baskets full of treats catered to them but are also enjoying creating something special for others, even if they are a stranger.
Some are even getting creative in the way they deliver packages, sometimes getting in goofy costumes or dressing head to toe in black like a ‘ninja’.
Brandi Brown and Skylar Martin from Rimbey were members of the Alberta Wine Ninja group before creating the Rimbey Wine Ninja Facebook group. They made the location focussed group to make it simpler for women in the Rimbey area to find each other and ensure that more people were receiving gift packages.
Just the other day Brown and Martin delivered over 10 packages to different ladies in the Rimbey area.
To join the Alberta Wine Ninja or Rimbey Wine Ninja group, one has to request to join the group and be approved by the admins of the page. To join the Rimbey Wine Ninja page you must be a resident of Rimbey or the surrounding area.
Sharon Renneke is one of the members of the Rimbey Wine Ninja group. She was invited to join the group and has found the whole experience to be uplifting.
Renneke said, “it was super exciting to be gifted, to be ninja’d, but to gift it forward is even better.”
Renneke said it was such a fantastic feeling to receive a surprise from a wine ninja. She joined the group Sunday, May 10 and the next day was surprised with a gift bag of treats catered to her likes such as sparkling water, chocolate and other treats.
“It was just a beautiful surprise,” Renneke said. “It’s keeping women connected.”
As a life and mindset coach Renneke says that she sees the deeper emotional impact this trend is having on women during the pandemic is palpable.
She explains that as individuals we all have stories and pasts, some of which have carried negative mindsets such as not fitting in or not be worthy, into our daily lives. However, something like being a part of wine ninja, and being surprised with a gift from a stranger can change some of those mindsets.
Renneke said, “something like this changes these stories to I fit in, I belong, I feel loved.”
Women across the province are having fun giving and receiving surprise packages as an exciting way to make the best of the situation the pandemic has placed everyone in.