Neighbors, strangers help decorate Michigan great-grandmother's home for Halloween

Michigan Halloween Decorations
Posted at 7:15 AM, Oct 29, 2021

KENTWOOD, Mich. — Dozens of people have answered a woman's call on social media to help decorate her great-grandmother's house for Halloween so she can enjoy her favorite holiday from her hospital bed.

Neighbors and friends have shown up at the door with twinkling lights, pumpkins, inflatable ghosts and other decorations to make 87-year-old Donna Pompa's Halloween a bit more bright. Strangers have even sent decorations in the mail.

"Never had it so decorated. I mean, I always had something out there, but not like this," Popma said.

"It would make her very happy, especially because this is very likely her last holiday," said Cherish Wascher, Popma's great-granddaughter. "I think it's made her feel very cared about and very loved by the community because she doesn't really get to see people all that much except for now, so just knowing that people are thinking about her."

Popma is known throughout Kentwood for her famous witch costume.

"I had a witch hat and a black thing I'd put on," Popma said."It was always fun to carve out the pumpkin and make the face on it; then we'd put a candle in it and set them out there on the porch."


Still recovering from a bout of pneumonia, Popma won't be able to get up and pass out candy this year like she normally does.

"I just love seeing them dressed up how they are," Popma said.

However, she's still in good spirits, dressed in her Halloween best. The decorations around her hospital bed have brightened the space in her living room.

On Saturday, as the trick-or-treaters descend on her neighborhood, Wascher will make sure her great-grandma has the best seat in the house.

"We're actually planning on taking the screen out of her window so that she can just hand them the candy from her window," Wascher said.

"They're going to move my bed so I can see better; in fact, I might even sit in a chair so I can see," Popma said. "This year, I wasn't sure what it was going to be like, but a lot of people have driven by, so they'll probably come back."

This story was originally published by Tessa DiTirro on Scripps station WXMI in Grand Rapids, Michigan.