MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – On a whim, Romeo Giovani, a disabled veteran who served in the Marine Corps and the Army, recently decided to dress up as Santa and knock on every door in the Shoals Creek neighborhood.
“It had to be at least five miles of walking,” said Giovani after he delivered candy and took pictures with children across the neighborhood.
Giovani wore a mask and assured children that 2020 was not stopping the real Santa, whom Giovani considers a close personal friend, from delivering presents to good boys and girls.
But why did Giovani go out on a whim to try and bring smiles to his neighbors?
“One of my neighbors had told me that Santa won’t be coming out. Like they saw some blocking thing where the kids couldn’t interact with Santa,” said Giovani.
Before going out dressed as Santa, Giovani reached out to his neighbors on social media a day in advance and received overwhelming support for his idea.
“The kids’ eyes just lit up. I had kids just chatter, chatter, chatter. I loved it. They were so awesome,” said Giovani.
It’s moments like this, for Giovani, that reaffirms why he fought to protect our country.
“I did my time in the service for this country. Seeing what’s happened over this whole year now, I wanted to bring something happy,” said Giovani.
Before the act of kindness, Giovani said he didn’t really know his neighbors too well. After the event, Giovani said he feels he got closer to the community he calls home.