Alyssa Maiste is an eighth-grader from Jupiter who suffers every day with Lyme disease. Despite her physical pain, she decided to make simple bracelets to send to other kids with the disease.
Instead, her mother Tiffany Maiste said someone sliced open the envelopes and stole them.
Maiste said she poured her heart into her daughter's bracelet-making project. "To have to tell her when she was so excited to hear about how these people loved these bracelets. To have to tell her that the envelopes were slit and things stolen, it was hard to see her face. and to see a little bit of that hope go away."
Alyssa lives in chronic pain because of Lyme disease and depends on a wheelchair to get around. She finds joy in bracelets. She said she's made at least 50 by now.
"It makes me happy because I’m not able to do sports, so this is the thing I’m able to do," she said. "I can’t hang out with my friends anymore because it’s too tiring and exhausting, so this is the thing I can do bracelet making and it makes me happy."
Alyssa sends the beaded bracelets to other kids across the country who deal with the same kind of pain. She said it's just to make them happy.
Many of the people she hoped to help, never got the bracelets. They got an opened envelope with nothing inside. "It's hurt a lot of people and it’s hurt my daughter," said Maiste.
The mother and daughter believe someone at the post office took them, so they filed a fraud claim.
"I don’t expect they will figure it out, but I sure hope they do," said Alyssa's mother.
The symbol of the little beaded bracelets means so much more.
WPTV Newschannel5 reached out to USPS to see where the claim stands. The Postal Service has not responded yet.