KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Thousands of local woman have found a way to connect despite the Coronavirus pandemic, all thanks to a Facebook group called “Blessings to come!!”
Megan Painter launched the page in March, near the start of the COVID-19 crisis.
“I just wanted a place where women could come gather together, talk about things,” she said. “I invited 70 of my friends thinking maybe 30 or so would join, invite some of their friends and we’d end up with maybe about 200 people.”
Just a few weeks later, there are thousands of members, connecting through giving.
Here’s how it works: Members introduce themselves and post a link to their Amazon wish lists. Other members then respond, and choose random people to gift, by clicking on the link and purchasing an item.
Amazon doesn’t share any address information, and it gives you the choice to get notified if something you asked for has been purchased, or you can wait for the surprise.
“You’re getting something but you don’t know what it is and you know it’s going to be something that want because it’s on your list,” said Marsha Baylor, who frequents the page often. She’s gifted about a dozen women and she’s received several gifts too.
Painter said it isn’t about the cost or size of the present. The value comes in the giving.
“There’s many things on the pages that people have that are only a dollar, two dollars, five dollars,” Painter said.
She’s watched the number of members grow from a few dozen to thousands, starting in Kansas City and now stretching from coast to coast.
“People in the Midwest are always about giving and caring for people, and when we need to come together, Kansas City’s always been known for doing that,” Painter said.
“It feels really good to be able to give to people even in the smallest way,” Baylor said.
She said that in the middle of a global pandemic and stay-at-home orders, this fills a void.
“You don’t realize the human connection until you don’t have it anymore,” she said. “It’s a way of connecting and really, that’s what we’re all looking for. You know, we’re all looking to connect.”
Spending money isn’t a requirement to join, and you’re not obligated to do or give anything.