Despite having Autism, Kris Salls, age 15, works hard to spread Christmas cheer and put on a spectacular Holiday display. Throughout the year, Salls works as a landscaper and shovels snow to pay for new inflatables for his incredible annual display. All he asks is for people to bring clothing or canned food donations to go towards the Salvation Army and leave with smiles.
Kris Salls shared with NBC Connecticut, â€œwell it started when I was about four years old. We just- we were supposed to get a Grinch one year and we could not get one so we ended up getting a snowman and it just went from there.â€ Salls has continued to grow the display every year to make it bigger and better. It truly brings him happiness.
Wednesday, December 23rd, Salls woke up to find that four of his inflatables and deer sets were stolen. According to the Central Connecticut Communications interview with Salls, this year was not the first year that his display has been stolen from. However, this year was the first year that anyone stole his hard-earned inflatables, including a Mr. Potato Head, that residents loved to â€œselfieâ€ and take photos with. Most of the inflatables that were stolen are retired from stores. Their sentimental value meant a lot to Salls.
Righ away, Salls asked the community for the inflatables to be returned and shared that he would not even press charges if they were returned. Salls and his mother, Diane Baker, shared what happened to Bristol Talks, a Facebook group comprised up of over 6,000 Bristol residents, to ask the community for help and information on the thief. Although, the inflatables have not yet been returned from the â€œGrinch who tried to steal Christmas,â€ something else special happened. Not only did donations pour in for their cause, but also the community came together to support Sallâ€™s passion for his annual Christmas Display.
Instantly, many individuals donated their own and new inflatables to be added to his collection. Even an anonymous police officer donated multiple items for Sallâ€™s display including a vintage metal sign, tinsel moose, and a tinsel pig! Salls neighbor even offered for him to use their electricity. Since the news has made the story public, the Sallâ€™s doorbell has been constantly ringing with donations of all sorts, for their display, and for their efforts in collecting donations for the Salvation Army, truly showing how the Bristol community comes together to support each other and what’s right.
Katrina Ruel Dyer, a mother of an autistic child, shared with Bristol Talks just how truly inspirational Salls is for not only autistic kids but for everyone, Bristol resident or not. â€œHe’s single-handedly destroying the stereotype that our kids lack empathy. This kid is showing us all that no matter how many times people try to knock us down, we need to keep getting up and not let negativity win. No matter what, he keeps at it and isn’t going to let anyone stop him from doing what he loves.â€ Kris Salls has left an example for everyone. Salls never let the â€œGrinchâ€ bring his love and dedication for his display and charity down.
The display is located on 250 South Street and will remain up until January 3rd. Donations including clothing and canned goods will be donated straight to the Salvation Army, and are highly appreciated. Letâ€™s make this the best year for Sallâ€™s display and continue to bring the community together to support his dreams! Thank you, Kris Salls for being All Heart and thank you to everyone in the community who has donated to Kris Sallâ€™s display or donation efforts!
Check out Kris Salls on his Youtube Channel to watch some of his videos of his display here.
Check out the NBC Connecticut story here.
Check out The Bristol Press article here.