Iron Range Woman Creates Facebook Group Dedicated To “Quarant-wining”

PENGILLY, Minn. — A Facebook group started by one woman on the Iron Range now has thousands of members with a goal of spreading joy to each other during Minnesota’s COVID-19 shutdown.

Cassie Husmann, a Pengilly resident, said her sister had invited her into a Facebook group for women who wanted to surprise each other by leaving gift baskets on each other’s front doors during the shutdown, an act of kindness dubbed “quarant-wining.”

The baskets usually include wine or another type of alcoholic beverage, snacks, candy, and other fun surprises.

The problem was, the group was created for those who lived in Southeastern Minnesota. So Husmann decided to make a group called “You’ve Been Wined” for the Arrowhead Region on the social media platform.

Husmann, like millions of other Americans, had gone from working parent to stay-at-home teacher for her children, helping them with distance learning as schools shut down.

“I went from law assistant to homeschool teacher overnight, literally overnight,” she explained.

When Husmann launched the Facebook group in mid-May, women began posting their information so they could drop off surprise gift baskets for each other unannounced.

One woman picks another to “wine” in the group, then knocks on their door, drops off the basket full of gifts on their doorstep, and tries to flee the scene before the door opens, just like ding-dong-ditch.

“It’s a blast, you do feel like a little kid again!” Husmann exclaimed. “Every single one of them, I was giggling like a little girl when I was running away, and the adrenaline would just get me so much that I’d pound on the door and run. I would basically barrel into the car and telling Carlonna ‘go go go go!”

The women don’t know that they are being picked or when that kind stranger is leaving a basket on their door. Many of the givers choose to remain anonymous.

“When you’re in your 30s and you’re in between that ‘I’m still young, but I’m getting up there,’ you need those moments, you know?” Husmann said.

The group took off quickly, with Husmann getting her friends like Carlonna Lakedon involved. It now has more than 2,800 members.

“I didn’t think it would take off the way that it did,” Lakedon said. “I’m so grateful we did [do this], because it was so very needed from the time we first started it.”

Women from up on the Iron Range down to Duluth started joining in so they could “quarant-wine” each other, with the Facebook group swelling to more than 2,800 members.

“The better feeling for me is the giving,” Lakedon said, adding that she and Husmann have gifted about 20 baskets so far.

Some women who have received baskets have written back to the group, saying that the surprise delivery couldn’t have come at a better time.

“One woman posted, she said anytime she’s having a bad day she goes to our group, and she’ll start scrolling through the pictures and the posts of women that have received, and she reads the stories, and it instantly makes her happy again,” Husmann said. “That brought me to tears.”

The gifts go beyond just drinks and other little things.

“If it wasn’t for Cassie, I wouldn’t be doing this,” Lakedon admitted. “She definitely drug me into this and I was very hesitant, and I’ve never done anything like this. I’m a homebody. I stick to myself and I’m so grateful that she tapped me into it.”

It’s reminding many that being kind to others, is the best gift you can give.

“I’m not even sure I could put it into words myself,” Husmann said. “I almost feel like a different person, a better person in a sense. Better than a previous version of me.”

The group will “wine” down on June 19th, as Husmann says it takes her at least 40 hours per week of her time to run the group.

 

 

 

 

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