HACKENSACK, NJ (CBSNewYork) — There are many ways to show you care this holiday season and a lot of people need help.
All Wrapped Up is a program that matches those in need with willing donors from the community, CBS 2’s Vanessa Murdock reports.
Christmas 2008 will be one single mom Jovannie Lorenzo will never forget.
“He just blurted out ‘I do believe, I do believe’ and of course I was crying because I just didn’t expect that,” said Lorenzo.
It was All Wrapped Up, a program coordinated by the Volunteer Center of Bergen County, that gave her a Christmas gift to cherish for a lifetime.
“It gave me hope that things were going to be OK for myself and my children,” she said.
She asked for necessities, but received so much more – bags of gifts for her and her three children Hanna, John and Xavier, all of it donated by an anonymous neighbor.
“It was overwhelming and humbling at the same time,” she said. “I was really excited to be a part of it.”
All Wrapped Up matches the neediest of Bergen County with real donors who want to help.
“These clients are not going to receive gifts from any other source,” said program director Debbie Emery.
This year, 4,000 people need All Wrapped Up to make Christmas a reality. It’s the largest number ever in the program’s history.
Knowing how many are in need this holiday season brings Emery to tears.
“I need PJs, I need towels. These are not frilly things, these are basic necessities,” she said.
But receiving even the most basic items makes can truly change a life. Just three years later, Lorenzo isn’t receiving gifts, she’s giving them and she’s excited be the one letting other moms know about All Wrapped Up.
“To be able say everything is going to be OK, your Christmas is going to be OK, there are people excited to take care of your family that want to help you,” she said.
She is living by the Volunteer Center of Bergen County’s motto: Do good, feel good, give good.
For more information, visit www.bergenvolunteers.org.