Donation bin stolen from Conn. holiday decoration house display

Rick Bollash has been collecting things to donate to the St. Mary’s East Hartford food items pantry and now is confused by local community assist.

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. — The East Hartford local community is stepping up to support a neighbor soon after a “Grinch” appeared to have stolen a foodstuff donation bin from an elaborate Christmas decoration show.

The “Santa’s Village” show on Oak Avenue is dwelling to a front garden full of inflatable decorations for the vacations. Rick Bollash runs the display screen and encourages visitors to carry donations to reward St. Mary’s East Hartford foods pantry in return. This is his third calendar year decorating the residence for the holiday break period.

“I started it immediately after I had open up heart medical procedures,” he stated. “Previous 12 months we gathered probably about seven trunks complete of foodstuff for them.”

Bollash shared photographs to social media Thursday of exactly where the donation bin earlier stood when it and the donations within vanished. A rectangle patch of grass in the center of the snow-coated garden and a harmed bin lid was all that was still left.

“When I left to go to operate, it was absent. Just a damaged lid and a bunch of dry floor,” Bollash stated. “I guess they required it.”

Bollash explained donations have been sluggish simply because the economy has impacted people’s capability to give. Phone calls for extra donations ended up produced Friday by Mayor Mike Walsh.

“Individuals from all around come to see the show, and all Mr. Bollash asks for in return are non-perishable food stuff goods or monetary donations to profit the East Hartford Food items Financial institution,” Walsh explained, and added, “Can you support us conserve Xmas?”

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The community arrived as a result of. Bollash’s front porch had donations of meals and paper merchandise piled up on his front door and he shared the fantastic news Saturday early morning.

“I experienced to walk all-around to the again doorway because the front actions were being all complete of food stuff,” he claimed. “I have just been attempting to come across space anyplace I can.”

Although FOX61 was at the home Saturday, a woman arrived by to fall off canned items, a different gentleman stopped by to share his wish to donate bread from his bakery, and Hank Stephenson introduced a box entire of items.

“I felt like, if a person felt the want to take it, they will have to have necessary it as well so there are a good deal of individuals in want. I’m in a placement where I can help out a tiny little bit, so why not celebrate the holiday break spirit by giving back,” he explained. “What improved way to give again to the neighborhood and give to all those in want.”

Stephenson often walks by the dwelling. Vehicles drove by the screen and gave a ‘honk’ as a signal of appreciation. 

Bollash has also raised $1,000 to give to the foods pantry. He reported automobiles will line up to drop off donations. He’s even experienced people from out-of-point out achieve out considering the fact that it happened to share they donated to their community foodstuff pantry for the reason that of him. Bollash reported what is happened has manufactured people far more conscious of the life quite a few stay.

“If people today can come across it to give or if they are able to give wonderful. If you simply cannot give do what ever you can,” he mentioned. “If we can do this and deliver a very little pleasure to every person, deliver a minor Christmas spirit back again and see if we can get a community’s giving issue likely.”

Mr. and Mrs. Claus are stopping by the household Tuesday from 7-9 p.m. Bollash is encouraging persons to quit by for a walk about his Xmas setup and donate if they can.

Tony Black is a multi-media journalist at FOX61 News. He can be reached at [email protected]. Comply with him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Leah Myers is a electronic written content producer at FOX61 News. She can be achieved at [email protected]

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