Frankel tells PEOPLE she and her daughter celebrated with friends and family in Boston

By Aurelie Corinthios
November 27, 2018 04:12 PM
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Bethenny Frankel is full of gratitude this holiday season.

Last week, the Real Housewives of New York City star celebrated Thanksgiving with her 8-year-old daughter Bryn, she reveals to PEOPLE.

Frankel and Bryn were with friends and loves ones in Boston, where the Bravo star, 48, was recently spotted with real estate developer and film producer Paul Bernon. The mother-daughter duo packed in plenty of fun activities throughout the weekend, including going to a trampoline park and catching a showing of Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet.

They also binged all of the Twilight movies, played with the wildly popular Hatchimals, and even made slime, which Frankel says she has now forbidden in her household due to the mess. And of course, there was plenty of snuggling with their two Lhasa Apso pups, Biggy and Smallz.

As for what they’re thankful for? Bryn, for their dogs, and Frankel, for her daughter — and the fact that she’s able to contribute help to those in need through her foundation.

Frankel has been pouring her efforts into BStrong, her disaster relief initiative that provides real time emergency assistance to individuals and their families in crisis.

Throughout the last two weeks, BStrong has been aiding victims of the devastating wildfires in northern and southern California, distributing cash cards, supplies, blankets and respirator masks to families, children and infants.

The BStrong staff also spent 12 hours a day talking to victims and listening to their stories.

Frankel created the cash card model so people donating know that she’s not taking the liberty of deciding what someone wants or needs, instead giving the victims the freedom and dignity of choosing what they require — and putting money back into the devastated community.

With BStrong, Frankel says it’s important that people feel in control of their donation and know exactly where it’s going, as opposed to either donating over the phone or at a telethon. Instead, Frankel wants to give the donator the power, encouraging her fans to use Twitter and Instagram to spread the word and build a helping community.

In terms of relief items, victims don’t spend money on these necessities — all relief items are donated to BStrong, then given to victims. (Major companies like Jet.com and Casper have contributed donations.)

Frankel, who devoted herself to hurricane relief efforts after her on-off boyfriend Dennis Shields was found dead of a suspected overdose over the summer, told PEOPLE in September that helping others helps her gain perspective — even as she mourns.

“The work I am doing for hurricane relief is a good outlet, but I’m trying to not get too immersed and not avoid the grieving process and feeling,” she said. “I am going through an emotional storm and must go through and not around it.”

“People are suffering way more than I am,” she added. “People have helped me get through my despair with their love and inspiration and now it is my turn.”