State Representative continues to spread smiles at retirement community

State Representative continues to spread smiles at retirement community

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Some people just have a need to help, no matter how silly they may look.

State Representative Greg Haney had the need to keep up his tradition of dressing like a turkey and bringing a smile to people’s faces.

Normally on Thanksgiving morning, you would find him entertaining the volunteers at the Lyman Community Center helping the Feeding the Needy program, but the pandemic changed that.

Instead, Haney found a welcoming audience at Seashore Highlands retirement community in Gulfport.

“I thought it would be a great idea to come out and social distance through the windows and wish people a Happy Thanksgiving, gobble a little bit for them and give them a smile for the day.” Haney said.

It may have seemed a little bit creepy, this grown man in a turkey outfit, lurking in the bushes, but Haney pulled it off.

“I thought it was amazing,” said Cora Mitchell, Life enrichment coordinator at Seashore Highlands. “It was such a blessing, and the elders really enjoyed it.”

Because of the isolation forced upon them by the pandemic, it has become more important than ever to reach out to the elderly.

“We have to social distance and we can’t be near the elders for their safety,” Mitchell said. “So it’s so important that we get volunteers like Mr. Greg to come out and put on a little turkey show for us and entertain them on a day like this.”

Resident Kenneth Davis even gobbled back at Haney, clearly enjoying the show.

“Anything cheers us up, especially if you come by and say hi, get to talk,” said Davis. “It makes the day go better.”

Haney said he enjoys making people smile and he has a unique gift of the gobble.

“Years of practice,” Haney said. “I’ve been gobbling since before I had a turkey outfit, it’s just something sometimes that comes out in me and it sounds a little different different times.

“I never have the same gobble twice.” said Haney.

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