PLAINVILLE - State Sen. Henri Martin and state Rep. William Petit donned Santa hats Monday night to ring bells for the Salvation Army at Gnazzo’s Grocery.
The legislators were joined by Salvation Army Lieutenant Emmanuel Echavarria who provided them with the official collection buckets and aprons and thanked them for their support.
Within minutes, customers began regularly stopping to make donations.
“There is a lot of need this time of year,” said Echavarria. “Some people have lost their job or maybe others have lost their homes with the flooding in Texas, Puerto Rico and Florida and are being supported by relatives. We are here to support them and we couldn’t do anything if not for the charity of volunteers and the people that support them.”
Martin said that ringing bells for the Salvation Army is an opportunity to “remind people about what the Christmas season is all about in our own little way.”
Martin noted that in previous years he had rung bells at Walmart and as part of the Rotary Club. He wished that everyone enjoys their Christmas.
“I hope everybody takes the time to enjoy being with their family and to reflect on why we are celebrating Christmas,” he said.
Petit said he also has rung bells with the Rotary Club. Although he was not a member he supported his father’s and sister’s efforts.
“I think everybody is looking to help people out this time of year,” he said. “While many people in Connecticut are reasonably prosperous there are also many in need. One of the reasons that people like to support the Salvation Army is that they are able to do a lot with very low overhead.”
Petit wished everyone a merry and healthy Christmas and happy holidays.
“I hope everyone will be able to maintain a positive attitude and reach out to help others,” he said. “With the budget cuts we are facing it will be especially important to help out your neighbors, your nonprofits and your churches.”
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at or .