Community puts on Christmas for Lantana family in need

Posted at 11:59 PM, Dec 12, 2018

LANTANA, Fla. — A family in Lantana struggling to make ends meet is now celebrating an early Christmas with everything they wanted thanks to the kindness of WPTV viewers.

“I want to thank them for looking beyond Christmas and looking into the future," said Chandra Martin, who works two jobs seven days a week to provide for her four teenage daughters, including one with cerebral palsy. "That took a lot of burden off me and my family.”

The family's story initially aired on December 5 detailing their struggle with homelessness last year when they lived out of a car and how the 16-year-old daughter takes care of the 13-year-old triplets, one who uses a wheelchair, while their mom works.

"That’s what made us give back because she’s still doing it," said John Velez, of The Velez Group. "She’s not letting her situation get her down.”

John and Janine Velez saw their story and decided to put on a Christmas celebration for the family, bringing lots of gifts for everyone and a Christmas tree and decorations.

"Not just us. My wife got some of her coworkers. I got some of my coworkers," John said.

The United Way of Palm Beach County also received gifts specifically for the girls.

"We’re so fortunate to live in a community where we have so many people who are generous and do care," said Lexi Savage, of the United Way of Palm Beach County.

My Crowning Closet in Jupiter donated dresses and accessories for each of the teenagers as well as Martin, which they all loved.

Martin said other people have reached out to her and sent the family gifts as well. 16-year-old Eunjahia said people at her school have also been helping her since the story aired.

“Thanks again everyone," Martin said.

“Feeling blessed that they’re going to have a Christmas," John Velez said.