A Facebook group founded by women either born or raised in San Benito County has started a chain of delivering themed baskets to randomly selected people to promote connection, show support and offer encouragement during the pandemic.
The San Benito County Boozy Door Dash is a Facebook group with 1,350 members. The page was created by Amanda Hernandez on July 25 and is for women only. Hernandez manages the group with the help of five admins: Nicole Shelton, Michelle Romo, Mary Villegas, Jen Lamonto-Thompson and Niki Vineyard.
“We want to bring happiness and joy to local ladies in this crazy time,” Hernandez said. “We hope this will brighten someone’s day or help people make a new friend.”
The idea is to create a basket or bundle filled with alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages, beauty products, personal protective equipment or other items that will cheer someone up, then post on the group page that you are looking to have someone “boozed,” the term used to define a contactless home delivery. The poster then poses a question such as, name your favorite color, or favorite cocktail, or just pick a number between one and 100.
After the question is posed, the poster then picks a person at random from those who have answered the question and sends a direct message to the winner to request their address. The winner can then expect a gift basket on their doorstep.
Hernandez was inspired by another similar page that had grown from a local to national level.
“People were allowed to be from any town and any state,” she said. “The group started out fun, but became very chaotic. Every few minutes there would be people posting to be boozed in Fresno, or even Washington.”
Hernandez reached out to that group’s creator to tell her of her idea to start a San Benito County-only page, and upon getting her blessing Hernandez began creating the local group.
There are rules for the SBC Boozy Door Dash group: participants must be 21 or older; if someone adds a person under 21 they will both be blocked; only San Benito County women may participate: deliveries will be made to Hollister, San Juan Bautista, Paicines, Tres Pinos and Aromas; no addresses are allowed on posts or comments.
Hernandez and the admins are all Hollister natives.
“We are all born and raised in Hollister which is great,” she said. “There is a good chance one of us will know someone requesting to add.”
BenitoLink was invited to tag along with Skylar Subia on Aug. 20, when she did her first-ever booze porch drop. Subia is a 22-year-old phlebotomy student and third-generation Hollister resident.
“I joined the booze group about two weeks ago when my boyfriend’s mom invited me to join,” she said. “It’s been pretty fun since joining, I love how many women in this town are involved!”
Subia’s booze basket was filled with a ready-to-drink margarita mix, a bottle of tequila, a succulent, two shot glasses, margarita rimming salt, Tajin corn nuts, some candy, a ginger beer and two roach clips.
“My idea for it just came from the fact that my favorite drink of choice would be a margarita, and the rest of the basket were just some of my personal favorites,” Subia said.
Subia chose her basket recipient by asking a question on the group page.
“I wrote down all the names of the women who commented, put them all in a bowl and Ysabel Pulido was the name I pulled out. I wanted it to be completely fair and random.”
Subia knocked on the door and delivered her basket by leaving it on Pulido’s doorstep. Before she had a chance to walk away, Pulido answered the door and surprised Subia with a booze basket she had created herself.
“In the bag I got back from Ysabel, there was a bottle of margarita mix, popcorn, an eye mask, a stemless wine glass, peanut M&M’s, Kleenex, and it was all in a cute little tote! I was completely not expecting to get a booze basket in return either,” Subia said.
She added, “I think this group is genuinely amazing for this community. There are so many women involved, and I feel like it’s taking everyone’s mind off of the scary chaos in the world right now. So many of us in our community are voluntarily sending out little ‘pick me up’ packages to, for the most part, random strangers, and it’s such a great feeling. It’s so much fun and it feels awesome to socialize with the ladies in our community, while still keeping up with social distancing. I love it, and I truly hope it continues.”
But what if you don’t drink alcohol and would like to be a part of this growing wave of spreading kindness and hope?
Mary Villegas, one of the group admins, said “You do have to be 21 to join the group, but you don’t have to drink alcohol. Ladies who are expecting or nursing have received snack baskets with fun juice or tea drinks.”
Villegas said she hoped the group members enjoyed “the positive atmosphere and fun we are striving to create. Our most recent idea of themed baskets seems to be enhancing the fun. Cheers to smiles, sharing, and sisterhood.”
Some members are branching off and starting their own Facebook groups, such as Karla A. Perez with her own page called Kids Snack N Dash SBC, with 162 members.
Perez, a mother of two, started the group on Aug. 2.
“I am part of the adult booze groups,” she said. “I saw how excited my kids would get. They started looking through the snacks which I would share. My daughter mentioned one time that she wanted a basket of her own. Then it dawned on me that maybe they were feeling left out. That’s where I thought, ’how cool would it be to start something for kids. It would definitely make quarantine a little more exciting.’ I talked to my friend and daughter about it a few times before we finally decided to do it.”
When asked what she thinks the kids snack group does for the children and the community, Perez answered, “It gives them faith in humanity. It gives the kids excitement. It teaches the kids to give to others.”
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