MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH)– Christmas is a special time of year, but for one Connecticut family this year is a little more special than the rest.
Shopping for the holidays is a tradition families often do together, walking down each aisle to find those special gifts that expresses the love felt in their heart for the important people in their lives. At Target in Meriden there is more than enough love to go around thanks to a man named Abel Gonzalez. No red suit for this guy, though, as he is all about the blue.
Officer Gonzalez graduated from the police academy in 2009 and there he made a special bond with a fellow cop-in-training named Dan Naimoli. But a year later Naimoli died suddenly, leaving his family without a father on Christmas.
“Dan was always there to lend a hand and whatever we needed,” said Gonzalez.
There is no replacing a man like Naimoli; however, Officer Gonzalez wanted to do something, so he worked with a group called LEO Only so Naimoli’s two boys could have one Christmas they would never forget. All of the gifts the kids picked out were paid for in full.
There are many who say the Christmas spirit has been lost to consumerism, perhaps this family will renew that faith.
“It took a huge weight off my shoulders to know that at least these guys were set and taken care of,” said the kids’ mother, Sarah Ghidini. “And even though that he (Dan) is gone that everyone still remembers him.”
In all, the kids were able to take home some $800 worth of gifts.