If there’s one thing we’ve learned about the internet, it’s that it can bring strangers from all walks of life together for a common purpose.
We’ve heard incredible tales of reunions between long-lost family members, childhood friends, lost pets, and more, but we’ve never seen anything quite like this. It all started with an unusual post in a Facebook group.
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Over Labor Day weekend, Thea Lenna visited a vintage shop called Second Chance in Baltimore, Maryland. While she was browsing, she spotted a rather unique chair. Not only was it hand-painted, but it also featured a whimsical fish design. Tickled, she posted a picture on a Facebook group called “Weird Secondhand Finds That Just Need To Be Shared.”
Thousands of people commented on the chair, which was quickly identified as a MacKenzie-Childs piece that retails for about $2,000. But the best response nestled among the countless fish puns was written by Emily DelFavero of Syracuse, New York.
“I literally have this chair tattoo’d,” she wrote, sharing a picture of her own.
Intrigued, everyone asked her for the story, and she didn’t disappoint. “My Mom had Mackenzie Child’s art and furniture all around the house growing up!” she said. “Back in the 90s, they had fish chairs, lamps, we even had fish-shaped dinner plates painted just like this! Timeless, timeless piece of art and history!”
She went on to explain that her mother had only used the fish plates on special occasions, so she has warm childhood memories linked to this specific design.
Her story had an instant impact on the group. Within minutes, total strangers were scheming to get the chair to her home in Syracuse by any means necessary!
They set up a GoFundMe to cover the cost of the chair, and then volunteers spanning from Baltimore to Syracuse orchestrated its purchase and seven interstate handoffs to get it to Emily. They also started a new Facebook group, which quickly gained around 3,000 members.
“I wasn’t expecting this at all,” Emily told Today. “I wanted to buy the chair, but I wasn’t looking for donations. It was more like, ‘It’d be great to meet up so I could get this chair.'”
Soon, the fish chair had transformed into a symbol of friendship and nostalgia!
The Facebook group became a place for members to share memories of antiques and heirlooms that bring them joy. Not to mention, in the midst of COVID-19, it gave them an uplifting goal to rally around!
“Everyone has a uniquely tailored story about what this means to them,” Emily added.
They’re all expressing deep, personal stories to me. They’ve had a lot of sadness over these last months, and now the chair has brought them light and happiness. So many of the women on this journey have encountered abusive relationships, and this chair has brought people together for happiness, for good.
On September 14, it finally arrived at Emily’s home! As a professional musician, she made sure to let everyone know what her plans were: “I’m going to make beautiful music and art in this chair.”
Now that the fish chair is making national news, Emily hopes the takeaway is one of kindness and unity. What an amazing way for these strangers-turned-friends to support each other!
Share this story to encourage everyone to look for ways to make others smile.
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