SANTA ANA, Calif. - For those dealing with loss and grief the holidays can be a heartbreaking time.
On this night before Hanukkah we get wisdom from the Bernstein family of Orange County. They near the three year date of the death of their son Blaze living the motto, "Blaze It Forward."
This holiday season the Bernsteins are joining others in the Jewish community in an "Adopt-A-Family" program. Several Santa Ana families in need were selected by Congregation Shir Ha-Ma'alot.
Jeanne Pepper Bernstein, the mother of Blaze, says giving keeps them out of their head. Their son, nineteen year old Blaze was killed in an alleged hate crime. His body was found in a shallow grave on January 10, 2018.
With the holiday season and that heartbreaking anniversary the pain and sorrow comes flooding back. Blake's father Gideon says Hanukkah was always a happy time.
Jeanne and her two younger children are doing the adopt-a-family shopping. Year round, with their Blaze It Forward campaign you'll find the Bernstein's working in honor of their son to support LGBTQ issues, to fight hate, and spread kindness. When not in coronavirus times, they do a holiday feeding event. This Christmas the pandemic put that on hold.
While you can feel his heartache you can also feel his passion. Gideon says they've discovered the secret to happiness. "It's giving."
We thank Scott and Leslie Seigel for nominating Gideon Bernstein and Jeanne Pepper Bernstein for FOX 11's Holiday Heroes series.
For more information visit blazebernstein.org