Local organizations help keep the Christmas alive by donating toys and providing meals

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- We've seen so many examples, even during a pandemic, of people reaching out and doing something extra to help others who are struggling.

All local organizers are sending the same message.

They say COVID put many families in a bind, so they want to do whatever they can to help. They call it "a labor of love."

"You see the fellowship, you see the compassion and you see people of every group coming together, it really makes every effort worth it," said Sheree Dallas Branch, assistant director of development at the Salvation Army.

It's the Salvation Army's 31st Christmas Family Feast, and despite the pandemic, they found a way to serve Christmas dinner to those in need.

"We couldn't offer dine-in services this year of course, so we're going to offer takeout and curbside."

Branch says they put up plexi glass and are requiring masks so volunteers can serve safely.

"We're trying to take every precaution as directed by the health department, and I think we've been successful," she said. 

We Got This, Inc. is also sprinkling a little Christmas cheer. They held a toy drive on Friday near 9th and Ring.

"This is probably the least of any gesture we could have made to show we are standing behind our community," said Trevor Hardman, organizer with We Got This. 

It's their biggest toy drive. Inside their tent was a full setup where people were able to get their gifts wrapped. 

One mom says she needs all the help she can get. 

"I think it's great because for the families who can't afford it like me, school like this comes in handy and the kids don't feel left out."

"These are gifts from the community, people within the city and other areas have come and donated so that everyone can have a happy Christmas," said We Got This founder Andre Lee Ellis. 

Branch says if you're planning to stop by the dinner, it's first-come, first-serve. She's encouraging everyone to wear a mask.

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