Like many Dearborn residents this holiday season, Will Klieber has decorated his home with outdoor Christmas lights and displays.
The difference with Klieber, however, is that he didn’t stop spreading illuminated holiday cheer at his own abode. Instead, Klieber–a resident of the 1500 block of Highview–went on to decorate 14 different houses on his street.
During past holiday seasons, Klieber said he has done only a few of the homes belonging to his neighbors. However, Klieber said he always felt motivated to decorate more homes, and this year set out to do as many as he could.
The majority of his work this holiday season was done on a volunteer basis, he said, and the decorations used are mostly his own.
“It makes you feel good when you can make other people feel good,” Klieber said.
By hitting department store post-holiday clearance sales, he was able to afford the huge personal collection of Christmas lights and displays he now has. In addition to just decorations, Klieber said he also has plenty of his own necessary supplies, such as the nearly 50 extension cords he owns.
The neighbors he decorated for this holiday season are primarily senior citizens or single parents who he said could not have done the work on their own.
“I know who can’t go out and do anything themselves,” Klieber said. “So I go up and ask if they’ll let me put lights up.”
One of the homes he decorated belongs to Stanley and Phyllis Tomasik, a couple who has been married 67 years and has lived in the same house since 1949.
“We love it. Will does a fantastic job,” Phyllis said of the Christmas lights Klieber hung on the exterior of the couple's house. “If it wasn’t for him, we probably wouldn’t have this.”
Depending on the amount of work involved, he said decorating a house can take anywhere from 30 minutes to eight hours.
Klieber sometimes faces challenges like cold weather, severely tangled light strands or burnt out bulbs. Despite this, he said he is able to easily deal with most obstacles, as the work is something that makes him happy.
“It’s involved, but it’s fun,” Klieber said. “I have a phenomenal amount of patience for it. It’s fulfilling, it’s something I enjoy.”
Aside from outdoor holiday decorating, Klieber said he helps his Highview neighbors out year-round. Some of the work he does includes raking leaves, cutting grass and cleaning gutters, he said.
“I really get fulfillment from random acts of kindness,” Klieber said.
Jennifer McDonnell, who lives a few houses down from Klieber, said he is both an excellent neighbor and a great role model for the children living in the area.
“He watches out for the block, and that’s how it should be,” McDonnell said. “To be able to have our kids share this, it’s wonderful.”
Will Klieber has been chosen as the Huffington Posts's Greatest Person of the Day, which features stories of people across the nation who are confronting major issues and making a difference in their community.