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How one Philadelphia family continues to keep loved one's memory alive during holiday season

Joy of Sharing: How one family continues to keep loved one's memory alive during holiday season
Joy of Sharing: How one family continues to keep loved one's memory alive during holiday season 02:37

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- CBS Philadelphia's annual Joy of Sharing campaign collects toys for the Salvation Army. Many of the toy donations will also benefit, Mothers In Charge, a nonprofit supporting families who have lost loved ones to gun violence.

One family is trying to keep their loved one's memory alive, especially during the holiday season.

Ricky Reynolds Jr. has the smile and spirit of his late father.

"I'm always told that I look like him, I act like him, my characteristics, my smile," he said.

CBS News Philadelphia.

"Most people love him. You know, he's a people person," Joyce Riddick-Reynolds, mother of Ricky Reynolds Sr., said.

Now Ricky Jr. is a dad, himself, to 15-year-old Anthoni and 2-year-old Royal. Joyce is Ricky Jr.'s grandmother.

"Someone is missing. Someone is missing," she said. "And that was my oldest son."

Joyce's son was shot and killed in North Philadelphia on June 7, 1990, at the age of 22. In the same year, she lost four other family members.

"It always will be there but I'm sure every time, I know for a fact that the more I share, the more I heal," she said.

Dr. Dorothy Johnson-Speight founded Mothers In Charge in 2003 after losing her son to gun violence.

"That's the thing because the holidays are so difficult. You know, that loved one is not there at the holiday table," Johnson-Speight said. "So the holidays, November, December, tough times for all of us, even those of us who lost our children many years ago."

Several times a week, Mothers In Charge holds support group meetings. The Joy of Sharing Toy Drive will support the families.

CBS News Philadelphia.

"We touch our own pain when we do this work because we all lost sons, daughters, and loved ones, but it gives us an opportunity to not so much think about our own loss, but to bring a smile or some happiness to others, and that helps us even in our own healing," Johnson-Speight said.

Joyce has been passionate about helping Mothers In Charge.

"I've done several counseling sessions here and I'm doing them now, to help other people who have had losses, to know that we can go on," she said.

She has nothing but praise for the viewers who donate to Joy of Sharing.

"And a lot of people will take that as, you know, a love action," Joyce said. "They care about my child then because some kids don't get anything for Christmas."

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