Amy Button has lived in Rochester for over 20 years. It’s one of her very favorite places. She loves the city, its stores, and everything else it has to offer. When the Covid pandemic began in the winter of 2020, everyone was stuck inside. Nevertheless, Amy wanted to spread some happiness during this dark and uncertain time. She had some extra gift cards and little trinkets from local stores, so she decided to package them up and place them in spots around Rochester and left clues as to where they were on her personal social media. Rochesterians quickly became immersed in her new happiness project!
Amy’s idea took off, and a growing number of locals have become involved since. Amy began purchasing items from small businesses and continued hiding the packages in fun places around the city and the surrounding areas. In 2021, Amy decided to create online profiles to establish a social media presence for her project which she called Share Some ROC Love!
Inspiration & How it Works
Amy shares that many local artists have done gift drops before. An artist will take a picture of a piece of artwork they’ve “hidden” somewhere for locals to go find. She decided to take this idea and add clues to help neighbors find her holiday packages.
Dropping packages between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, Amy’s purpose is to spread joy during the holiday season! She’s busy for six weeks, making one or two drops a week. She posts when she’s purchasing gifts to provide awareness for small businesses. Then, she posts when a package will be dropped a few days in advance with a preview of what’s going to be in it.
Both adults and families search for the gifts. Every package thus far has been found, and most recipients come forward and say they’ve found it! Each package comes with a card with information about letting Amy know so she can celebrate each discovery.
Typical participants are groups looking for an adventure, and it’s a great way for families to bond. One family shared that although they didn’t find a package in time, they adored the spot in which it was placed and go back often as a family for quality time together. Amy also finds that positivity dominates the project. When groups don’t find a package, they respond with “I’m so excited for the person who won,” or when a group can’t make it, they’ll share messages of good luck to those going on the adventure. These heartwarming comments are some of the reasons Amy continues her project!
Supporting Local Businesses in Rochester
A big supporter of Rochester’s locally owned businesses, Amy uses her package drops as a way to both support and provide publicity for local businesses. Once a package is announced, she tags businesses from which she’s bought gifts on her social media pages. She’s proud of her project’s ability to help locals learn more about local businesses and hidden gems.
It’s important to build a stronger community, especially with the pandemic. Amy hopes Share Some ROC Love can help Rochester become a more vibrant place with locals who support independent businesses and remain involved in the community. Plus, the project keeps money inside the community, which is key.
While Amy puts her own money into the project, friends will make donations, as well. Several small businesses have also donated gift cards for the package drops! Amy hopes local places will obtain more business as an outcome of this happiness project.
Amy will continue creating themed packages this winter! Since so many businesses are offering Bills-themed apparel now, she’s hoping to create a Bills Mafia package. She will be kicking things off on Black Friday. Send Amy a message if you’d like to get involved!
Share Some Love in your Community!
Amy shares 5 tips for starting a Share Some Love project of your own.
• Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. It can be overwhelming to take on a project that involves using social media and community participation, but most people will appreciate what you’re doing for the reason you’re doing it!
• Start small. You may want to try only one or two package drops during your first month.
• Plan ahead. Start off with gift cards and small trinkets, considering how you’ll spread the message. Avoid last-minute panicking by creating a spreadsheet that includes dates, locations, and ideas for clues.
• Get some help. Find some friends or family members who are willing to help you drop a package or two so that you can focus on social media sharing, or vice versa. Splitting responsibilities can be a great time crunch solution.
• Don’t feel pressure to spend hundreds. Staying small is perfectly fine. It’s okay to work with what you have!