The West Haven community quickly rallied to replace inflatable Halloween decorations stolen from a family’s front lawn just days before the holiday.
“For what he goes through, for any kid with a disability what they go through, he’s a very happy kid,” Paul Faulkner said of his son with autism.
Brett Faulkner, 16, loves rain, trick-or-treating and the band KISS.
“I want to rock and roll all night and party every day,” sang Brett, quoting his favorite KISS song.
For years, an inflatable train has been his favorite Halloween decoration.
“And you can ask even the neighbors he’s out there every day look at it, touching it, smiling at it,” his mom Robyn Faulkner said.
But when she woke up Saturday morning, she noticed it was missing.
“I looked out the window and I was like hmm, our train was gone,” she said.
Paul said he tends to stay off social media, but he shared that someone swiped the family’s Halloween display on the “West Haven – The Way It Is” Facebook page.
“Other than venting it was mostly me just letting people know what had happened just to keep a look out for their own inflatables or other decorations they have,” he said. “A lot of people took it very personal, especially cause our son is autistic and a lot of people on there also have family members with autism, they took it to heart pretty much, they really wanted to help my son make him happy again.”
Kevin Morse is one of the many “westies” who commented on the post.
“It was sad,” Morse said. “It just didn’t make any sense to steal an inflatable.”
Within 24 hours, he collected about $250 for a shopping spree at Home Depot.
“Here and there people are stopping by and dropping off a few things,” Robyn said, “but there was a pile in front of our door and my son was so excited.”
Now, two days before Halloween, the Faulkner’s front law is decorated with new spooky decorations.
“Thank you, West Haven,” Brett said.
While the stolen train was not replaced, Morse purchased something similar.
“We saw the Christmas sled (inflatable) and to me that was the closest thing the lights and everything, so made the most sense,” Morse said.
Morse said his father inspired this act of kindness.
“He’s a really giving person my whole life and it didn’t matter who it was if somebody needed help,” he said, “we showed up and helped.”
Seeing how overjoyed his son is now, Brett’s father can’t say thank you enough.
“Very overwhelming to see just total strangers come together to donate and to chip in for somebody they’d never even met before,” Paul said.
Morse has started a “West Haven Love” Facebook page. He said the purpose is to mobilize members of the community to collect toys or clothes for families in need during the holiday season.