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Local charities gearing up for holiday season

Posted at 8:08 PM, Nov 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-16 07:14:52-05

As you prepare for Thanksgiving meals and Christmas shopping, the season of giving is also gearing up.

And it’s almost like "Groundhog Day" for local charities!

Every single year, these grassroots organizations really have to start all over again on their mission to help families in need have a bright Christmas.

“During Christmas, everyone’s heart is a little extra tender," said Lyette Reback, who helps run an organization that’s in dire need of your help to bring joy to gold star families.

Reback is in full crunch mode right now.

“This will be the fourth Christmas that we’re getting gifts for children in the military," she said. “They can truly feel the love that comes from each of our packages.”

Alongside her 16 kids, the Palm Beach Gardens mom runs Believe With Me, which is dedicated to helping the families of fallen soldiers through fundraisers and charity efforts throughout the year.

In May, we covered the family's efforts to raise money to buy a home for a local gold star family.

“You get this freedom, but it’s not free. it cost these families everything," said Reback.

Every single Christmas, it's tough work. She essentially starts from scratch when it comes to planning and gathering materials and presents.

“In many ways each year, you’re starting over," she said. “And there’s never a guarantee that it's going to come together the same way."

In its first year, Believe With Me helped 168 kids. The second year, around 300. Last year, they wrapped gifts for nearly 600 Gold Star kids.

“They guesstimated their shipping costs were $40,000," said Reback.

And this year, they're looking at over 1,000 kids to provide Christmas gifts for.

Thankfully, FedEx is once again covering the cost for shipping and boxes will be donated. But that's a task that has to be reassessed every year.

“We’ve got kids in Hawaii, Alaska, and Maine," she said. “I don’t know how it’s going to work out but even like last year, if I have to stand outside of Walmart with pictures of the children and beg -- I’ll do it."

Reback still has to find a willing donor to give her space to wrap and hold the gifts.

“That’s a last minute thing, that’s no guarantee," she said.

But with her army of volunteers, she’s still committed to helping gold star families no matter what.

“They’ve always stepped in and stepped up to help us," she said. “The one thing that will never change is our commitment to give them a gift that really shows them how we love them, how much we care, how much we remember and honor their sacrifice.”

Here's how you can help:

Believe With Me has an Amazon wishlist set up with toys for the Gold Star kids and supplies they need to wrap the presents like duct tape and tissue paper. You can purchase items from their list and have it shipped to them right now.

Their website will also be putting up all of the families they’ll be helping this Christmas.