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Mother-daughter duo spread joy to Royal Oak neighborhood with 'porch penguins'

Posted at 1:39 PM, Jan 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-27 13:39:12-05

One Royal Oak mother-daughter duo spread a little bit of joy to their neighbors this week — and they did it with the help of “porch penguins.”

Meredith Gagnier, a lifelong Royal Oak resident, was looking for a reason to get outside and a way to brighten people’s days with her 5-year-old daughter.

“It was the first big snowfall that we’ve had in a long time,” she said. “It’s pretty rare when I go out in the snow, so it’s newsworthy when I do.”

Meredith had purchased snow toys from Amazon, and thanks to a snow day for her and her daughter, Claire, they headed outdoors. The pair started packing snow into the penguin molds in their yard, and that's when Meredith decided she wanted to share the joy.

“We have a really friendly neighborhood, everybody on our block knows each other,” said Meredith. “I just thought it would be so cute . . . people would find them as they came home from work.”

So, Claire and Meredith started walking around the block, leaving snow penguins on the porches of their neighbors.

“They liked them, I got Snapchats of them opening their doors and seeing them,” said Meredith of her neighbors' reactions.

Her daughter, Claire, was also excited to participate. When asked what she loved most about the porch penguins, she responded “that everybody else is happy.”

Meredith said she’s hoping they can start a little trend.

“It’s fun, I wish I could have gotten the whole block,” she said. “I’m kind of hoping that this starts a happy little trend. I would really love to see penguins popping up all over the city.”