Local teen wears holiday costumes to spread cheer

Collin Shields

First it was the Grinch and soon it will be the Easter Bunny. But whatever the holiday, Bayou Gauche resident Collin Shields said he just can’t get enough.

“I just love making the kids of this world happy,” he said.

Lana Shields said her 14-year-old son enjoyed entertaining people so much as the Grinch in December that he couldn’t wait for her to buy him an Easter Bunny costume so that he could spread more holiday cheer.

As the Grinch, Collin visited a retirement home, day care and multiple homes. Lana said because Collin is autistic he generally doesn’t like crowds, but that being behind a mask provides Collin with enough anonymity to be comfortable.

“He really loves to entertain people and make them happy,” she said. “He had a blast. I was actually very, very proud. The first time he did it I cried. After Christmas he was like, ‘What’s the next holiday?’”

Lana said over the years Collin has taken himself off of different medications, and that that in addition to his newfound love for entertaining has really changed his life.

“He’s kind of becoming himself again, which is awesome,” she said. “We’re so proud of him.”

On April 16, the day before Easter, Collin is planning on dressing as the Easter Bunny and will deliver donuts and confetti eggs to his customers.

“We drive to the houses and he hands them out,” Lana said. “There’s lots of photo opportunities.”

Lana said Collin has a couple more spots left for the Easter visits, and that people can contact her via Facebook to book one.

And as for Collin, Lana said his experience interacting with people as the Grinch has opened her son up to new experiences – he is now learning construction skills from a family member several days a week and is getting better at coping with being around crowds.

“It is helping,” she said of the holiday visits. “It’s definitely breaking him out of his shell a little bit.”


About Monique Roth 919 Articles
Roth has both her undergraduate and graduate degree in journalism, which she has utilized in the past as an instructor at Southeastern Louisiana University and a reporter at various newspapers and online publications. She grew up in LaPlace, where she currently resides with her husband and three daughters.

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