Just Say Hi: Napa UMC drone program brings smiles

December 17, 2020

Thanks to Napa Methodist Church congregant Loie Whitmer—and videos taken by a drone—there are a lot more people smiling and waving in Napa these days.

Whitmer created a program called, “Just t Say Hi” which allows fellow congregants to stand outside their homes while the Just Say Hi crew (all wearing masks) stands on the sidewalk, launches a video-drone, and cues the person to start waving and smiling at the camera. The footage is then posted on the Sunday worship video, with a total of six new smiling faces each Sunday.

“My only goal was to make people smile,” said Whitmer. “And the best part is that I get to see people when we go out to film, so I am smiling a lot.” Whitmer’s team consists of her husband, Dave Whitmer, and her brother-in-law Bob Amoroso, a registered drone pilot, and her sister-in-law, Jan Amoroso.

Whitmer says she came up with the idea because she missed seeing everyone on Sundays at church. “I might have even dreamed about it,” she explains. “But when the idea came to me, I ran with it.”