CROMWELL, Conn. (WTHN) — Santa’s workshop is preparing for visitors who are bringing gifts to little boys and girls.
“I want it to be fun for kids and we want kids to know the true spirit of Christmas is giving not receiving,” explained Tree Narbutas of Overhead Door in Cromwell, home to a toy drive this coming weekend.
It’s spearheaded by Vinny DiNatale. His last name translates to “of Christmas” in Italian. This man has been embodying the true spirit of the holiday for a decade now.
“I started collecting toys at the bus yard, about two to three years of doing that,” he said.
Then, the Glastonbury school bus driver went bigger, organizing drives, and donating toys to children involved in the Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Connecticut program.
“I try to get the goal as all the kids, every child in the system for Big brothers, Big sisters,” he said.
That adds up to about 800 presents.
“This is a wonderful thing for the organization, the kids, the families. The families really appreciate it, as well,” said Brian Kelly, Director of Marketing for the organization.
DiNatale has been a big brother for 12 years. His dedication to the program began when he mentored a boy named Nick.
Kelly hopes DiNatale inspires more adults to sign on.
“He’s a great big brother, caring and consistent – yeah, he’s a perfect example of the mentors we have and would like to get,” he said.
“I always wanted to take Vinny’s dream and make it bigger,” said Narbutas, whose first name, Tree, is also symbolic of the season.
She met DiNatale driving a bus.
“I think about how this has grown and the people who have supported me helping out buying gifts,” said DiNatale, giving appreciation to the volunteers that help. “Absolutely great.”
Click here for the details of the toy drive at Overhead Door in Cromwell on Saturday.