Mid-County Porch Fairies lift spirits with gift baskets
Published 12:28 am Tuesday, August 11, 2020
The Mid-County community is getting dusted.
Dusted is the term Crystal Jones uses for the anonymous gift-giving phenomenon sweeping the small neighborhoods.
Mid-County Porch Fairies is a group dedicated to making people happy, and organizer Jones said she came up with the idea from a neighboring chapter.
“There was a Houston group, but they had so many members that it was hard for ladies to get an address and it was taking a lot of time, so I thought it would be nice to have a local group,” Jones said.
“What happens is ladies send in their address and I will assign them an address in return, and they will buy a gift and deliver it to the front porch. We call it ‘dusting.’ It’s anonymous, and I thought it would be nice to make some ladies happy, especially nowadays with everything going.”
The group caters to female Mid-County residents at least 21 years old from Nederland, Port Neches or Groves.
Jones said she enjoys organizing community events such as this one.
“We didn’t have one in this area and I enjoy doing this kind of stuff,” she said. “I always have and I know so many people. It’s kind of my thing. It’s my nature to be a giver. I’m a terrible receiver.”
The group started with only a handful of friends and grew to include more than 800 residents.
“It was a big surprise that it took off so well,” Jones said. “I thought we’d maybe get a couple hundred people and it would kind of fizzle out, but it didn’t. I am so happy it did take off. It’s a lot of information to take down and I spend probably six hours a day working on it, but it keeps me busy.”
Julie Blanco is a Nederland resident who both gave and received a gift.
“It was really fun,” she said. “After I gave my basket I realized it was someone I knew, which really meant a lot. It was more fun to give one than to receive one, but my basket made me happy for days because of all the work that went into it. It was definitely something we needed right now.”
Blanco, a co-owner of the Blanc on Boston Boutique, said the group has become a huge topic of discussion.
“It’s making a big difference,” she said. “Everyone is really addicted to that page waiting to see what everyone is giving and getting. It’s just amazing. It’s so fun. We’ve even had customers at the store talking about their baskets and dropping them off. They come in and buy stuff from us, too.
“People are stuck at home right now. There’s not a lot of joy so this gives people a purpose and it makes you feel good to give stuff to other people, too. These baskets have a lot of effort to it and it just makes people happy.”
Gifts range from candles, wine and chocolate to self-care items and personalized clothing.
“Anything you can imagine, people have done,” Jones said. “Some say they don’t have any preference and want to be surprised.”
The group has also brought Jones a lot of appreciation.
“I get a lot of ‘thank yous,’” she said. “It’s lifted spirits. It makes people happy to make someone else happy. It makes me happy to know that even though I am not out dusting all these people, that I am making a difference just by being a medium.”
To join the group, send a request to the Mid-County Porch Fairies Facebook page.
Once approved, send your address and a short list of favorites/preferences to Crystal Farrar Jones’ personal Facebook. There is no spending limit.