Giving Your Best: Holly Rimes - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Giving Your Best: Holly Rimes

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By Jennie Montgomery

Here's a story that will fill you with the Christmas spirit.

It's about a woman who is giving her best to make sure those who risk their lives, fighting for our freedom, have a special Christmas holiday.

Holly Rimes is our December Giving Your Best winner, and it's fair enough to say that Holly likes to be in control! She's not one for surprises, like a surprise presentation of an award honoring her volunteerism.

So with her family in tow, Holly told us how her "Christmas in the Country" program for Fort Gordon soldiers has become a tradition that's more meaningful than she could have ever imagined.

"And when I talked to the commander I said, 'What is the biggest problem that y'all have here?' and he told me Christmas... that their suicide rate increases, and a lot of these men and women don't have a place to go for the holidays."

Holly Rimes has worked with the Wounded Warrior Project for the past 3 years. She had a Christmas wish that seemed so big only Santa could grant it.

"I came up with a crazy idea, what people thought was crazy at the time, it's the community and the surrounding area- and they range from Aiken to the coast- that donate, that cook meals, that invite us to their church Christmas Eve services."

Holly's "Christmas in the Country" retreat became a reality for wounded warriors at Fort Gordon, those who couldn't get home for the holidays.

Her husband, Mark, says it's a good feeling to give back to those who fight for our freedom.

"It's been a great blessing for us as a family and a community to be able to take part in this thing."

Holly has seen a soldier decorate a tree for the first time, and even open a gift for the first time on Christmas morning.

"He had literally been dropped off on the steps of a church when he was just days off, and he was raised in an orphanage, and that was his first Christmas sitting down with what he considered a family to open presents."

And she's setting an example that has changed hearts, and made a lasting impression on her 13-year old son, Tyler.

"Christmas- to me, the biggest present I get is the soldiers coming.She could never give me anything and I'd still be happy with those soldiers."

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