By Mike Kruzman /

Residents in a Hamburg Township subdivision have been getting visits from a zany neighbor who is doing what she can to keep everyone’s spirits high.

Danielle Thompson says her mother, Colleen Neilson, always wants to help other people, and has recently been passing along her “wonderful positivity” to others in a unique way. Earlier in the shutdown, someone in Neilson’s Whispering Pines subdivision had been planning to make a recording of residents saying “hi” or waving, but rain cancelled the plans. Thompson said that wasn’t going to stop her mom, however.

She told WHMI, “My mom put on a jester costume and made a sign that “smile,” and instead, she went around to houses knocking on doors and dancing on porches just to cheer people up.” Thompson said then her mom got an idea to do it in the following weeks with a cheerleader costume she had, and she went back around, this time doing cheers. She said her mom came up a “bunch of other ideas and has been doing it every week since, just to brighten people’s days while we’re all kinda stuck at home.”

Whispering Pines residents have also been visited by Neilson in the forms of a cowgirl, angel, and Uncle Sam. The subdivision newsletter has even been reporting on her efforts and pondering what she will come up with next. Thompson said her mom has at least three more ideas lined up and hopes to continue for as long as people need their spirits lifted.

Of remarkable note, Neilsen is spreading all of this cheer in the wake of losing her husband of 55 years to Lou Gehrig's disease in February. Thompson said that even though her mother is in mourning, she is still thinking about other people and how to make them smile. She said she “just can’t get over how amazing she is, and I’m so lucky to have her as my mom.”