Holiday display raises spirits — and donations to Windsor food bank | Windsor
WINDSOR — One local man is helping brighten up the town this winter with an array of holiday decorations and inflatables in his front yard.
Jason Santos, a resident at 25 Tiffany Drive, has 35 different inflatables, ranging in size from 3 to 25 feet tall. There are two candy cane walkways, two Christmas trees with bright motion lights, and much more.
Santos has been collecting the decorations for about four years, adding more and more each year.
“I still have room for another 30 or 40, too,” he said.
Santos, who shares the home with his sister, mother, and her husband, said growing up he always admired houses that offered decorations to the public and he started his own collection not long after purchasing his home on Tiffany Drive in 2015.
On top of providing smiles and memories for families in town, Santos is using the attraction to collect food for the Windsor Food and Fuel Bank. This is the second year that Santos has collected for the organization.
“We’ve collected a total of 61 grocery bags and counting,” Santos said. “Last year we collected 13 bags so the whole thing is definitely growing and getting more attention each year.”
Santos said he plans to stop collecting on Christmas and he’ll have an official total when he is finished counting.
Usually Santos begins setting up on Thanksgiving, but he started a week earlier this year due to the quantity of decorations he’s accumulated. Santos said it took him about five days to set everything up.
For Santos, spending money on the display has never been a concern because of a passion for growing his collection.
“It really is a hobby and I enjoy it, my family enjoys it, and the community does too so I really don’t mind spending money on the inflatables,” Santos said. “The way I see it, people need help all year round and especially around the holidays. Seeing kids running around my yard, smiling, taking pictures — it’s so awesome to me.”
Santos also created a Facebook page for the attraction titled A December to Remember Display, which features pictures, feedback from the community, and information on the display.
The lights currently run on a timer and are active from 4:30-9:30 pm Santos said he plans to take down the display over the weekend after Christmas.
Laura Soll, first vice president of the food and fuel bank, said Santos has been a huge catalyst for donations this year.
“This is exactly what we all need after such a challenging year,” she said. “Jason stepped forward to create something that cheers people up and also raises funds for a great cause that will help so many people in our community. Because of the coronavirus, so many families in our town needed support with food and energy and it’s important to remember that local food banks always need help.”
The food and fuel bank is a nonprofit organization managed by a board of directors and consists of several volunteers. Through a partnership with the Social Services department, the organization provides various programs for town residents who experience food insecurity, challenges with fuel and utility costs, or who need an essential service or assistance.