It started as a simple enough premise. Kimberly Derry Leonard saw a concept that one of her friends in another state was participating in. It was a group of ladies that gifted and uplifted one another. Her friend told her about how this positive group was helping her deal with depression. Leonard, who has dealt with depression herself due to the quarantining associated with COVID 19, saw a chance to bring such positivity to her home right here in Campbell County. She had no idea how it would take off.
She found a similar group in neighboring Scott County but in lieu of driving there decided to start one here. She and her friends Ebeth and Rachel started a local group and it soon had 50 members. At first they were reluctant to add many people as they did not know how the folks of Campbell County would embrace the concept they were working on. It turns out they embraced it with arms wide open. A week after the inception of the group it had swollen by a factor of ten.
Now a group with 500 members they were well on their way to gifting one another and spreading positivity. A fun contest that involved inviting others and a makeup giveaway later and there were over a thousand members in the group and not just here in Campbell County. Soon the group had out of state members.
The group has become women uplifting and supporting one another and though wine is in the title it is not about the alcohol. Some of the ladies in the group do not even consume alcohol.
Leonard spoke of how the group was growing. “I am getting t-shirts made. We are having a contest and the winner of the drawing contest gets to have their artwork displayed on our shirts. Those shirts will be sold to help people in our community and other communities! We will not use that money to wine people…. Every lady chooses to do that out of the goodness of their heart. We will use that money for food boxes and other needs. I am delivering our first food box today. It is a single mom in our community. She has no clue it is coming”, she said when asked about the impact they were making. Leonard continued by stating, “I started it to build relationships and have fun…. Now we are letting God lead us! We are not only wine! We hope we can really bless people and empower women! My goal has changed immensely with this group. I hope to one day make this a foundation or organization. When we can’t help someone we use the resources of our community to help them or direct them in the right direction.”
One of her future goals is to help her fellow founding member Rachel King Williams find a kidney. Williams suffers from Polycystic Kidney Disease. Polycystic kidney disease is an inherited disorder in which clusters of cysts develop primarily within your kidneys, causing your kidneys to enlarge and lose function over time. Cysts are noncancerous round sacs containing fluid. The cysts vary in size, and they can grow very large.
The current administration team consists of Leonard, King, Ebeth Justice, Tresia Davis (Special Projects Director), Chelsea Weaver (Special Projects), Dawn Sharp, Jamie Caldwell, Starla Smith, asey Kennedy Allen, Kersten Underwood, Brittney Nicole Cook (Oak Ridge), Jeannie Bailey (Knoxville), April Lynn Kitrell, Rachel Carpenter (Atlanta), Nickie Ward (Anderson County), Jessica Hope Wilson, and Angel Thompson (Oak Ridge).
The group has three major rules. Members must be 21 or older. Members must be kind and courteous to one another. Members are to respect one another’s privacy.
The group now has a completely non alcohol related group known as Soul Sisters. A group for teenagers is also in the works.