#HiGio takes a ride through Monticello

MONTICELLO, Wis.– Our “Do Something Good” storyteller is having the favor returned.

News 3 Now anchor Charlotte Deleste and her husband, Ron Giodan, have a son, Gio, who has special needs. They take Gio on car rides, often multiple times each day.

“It’s very calming for him. He’s 14-years-old, but developmentally 2 and a half, 3-years old, and he’s nonverbal. So, he doesn’t really understand what’s going on, and so just imagine like a really intense cabin fever,” Deleste said. “So, having to get out and the motion and the feeling, the vibration of the car. It’s like a baby. It lulls them to sleep. It really calms him down.”

Since social distancing restrictions were ordered, their car rides are becoming longer and more frequent.

“It’s hard for us to get out anyways and go into the community. Gio and other kids, they can really only go to places that they know,” Giordan said. “Us being quarantined is like the same as always, because we are usually stuck at home, but it feels worse because everyone is at home and there’s no place to really go.”

Today, Gio and his family did have a destination.

Monticello, Wis. hosted a vehicle parade for Gio and other kids with special needs in the community.

“They wanted to make a bunch of signs, and we reached out to the Monticello Police Department to see if they would escort, because we found out there was going to be about 40 or 50 signs throughout the community,” Monticello Fire Captain Ron Blumer said.

Community members stood in their yards with signs

“Even though they’re in isolation, they’re not isolated. There is a whole community here supporting these families,” Blumer said. “These trying times are hard on everybody, but it’s especially hard on these families.”

Blumer said the community wanted to give back to Deleste after a Monticello teacher was featured on “Top Notch Teachers.”

“It’s overwhelming. It’s just really touching, and this community, this village has always been fantastic,” Deleste said. “In my years here, in this area, Monticello has just always stood out. It doesn’t surprise me that they’re doing this.”

Giordan started Operation #HiGio, where community members show signs of love during the coronavirus pandemic. Deleste and Giordan drive Gio to see the signs and say hi to whoever he meets.