EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — It is a real-life story of a Grinch stealing Christmas. Some stole donated food from a Christmas display in East Hartford. Like the book, however, this story ends with a community coming together. Also, like the book, it is best told in rhyme.

Almost all in East Hartford like Christmas a lot.
But apparently, there is one Grinch who does not.

Rick Bollash turns his lawn into the North Pole.
When folks come to take pictures, he asks for help with one goal.

Bring some non-perishable food. It’s simple, frankly
Bollash said, “I do it as a food drive for the East Hartford Food Pantry.”

But that Grinch stole it all, every carton and can.
They took the whole box and off with it ran.

It was two full bags, bought through holiday mirth.
“It’s a lot of canned goods,” said Bollash. “There might have been $100, 150 bucks worth.”

No more food for the needy, oh such despair.
With Christmas just days away, would anyone care?

Of holiday spirit, Rick then had none.
“I was really upset,” said Bollash. “Like I said, I put on Facebook this was the last year, and if we got the snowstorm last week, it wasn’t going to be dug out and put back up. It was done.”

But what happened next? The best kind of surprise.
Rick’s neighbors and friends found their hearts growing in size.

Donations poured in, no more holiday gloom.
The food soon filled his entire living room.

It came oh so quickly, without any warning.
“This is all in not even two days,” Bollash said. “I’d say probably starting Saturday morning.”

It’s a storybook ending, turned the whole thing around.
The community let Christmas spirit be found.

And Rick’s once again full of holiday cheer.
“Like all the Whos in Whoville came together to defeat the Grinch,” Bollash said. “Like I said, this is expanding next year.”

So, it worked, the publicity and posts on his Facebook site.
Now there’s plenty for Santa to take to the food bank tomorrow morning.