Vote for Gulf Coast Community Ministries

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Gulf Coast Community Ministries has been providing the basic needs for people in our local community for nearly two decades and the need has increased along with the COVID threat in our area.

In every adversity, you can find a silver lining, a biblical and life principal that Executive Director Michael Wilson and others here at the Gulf Coast Community Ministries live by.

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This Gulfport-based non-profit was built on faith nearly 20 years ago and has been lending a helping hand to our local community ever since. “We provide a number of outreach opportunities. We have free medical clinic where we provide medical assistance, diagnosis, assistance for anyone who is uninsured. We have a food pantry for anyone in our area who has food needs. We have a clothing closet for our homeless population. We have a literacy program for anyone who may need those services. We have a literacy program.”

The need to restock these shelves and provide other essential services has increased greatly, especially now in the wake of COVID-19 but you can lend a helping hand. “Initially, when the quarantine first began, and the social distancing protocols first began, we saw a huge uptick. Those kind of waned up a little bit when the stimulus checks came out, but they’ve picked right back up and our services are being requested just as much as ever.”

Gulf Coast Community Ministries is among only 20 contenders for a $20,000 grand prize offered by Horne LLP, one of the top CPA and business advisory firms in our nation in an online competition. The prize money would go a long way here. “It would. Last year, we ran the numbers, and when you figure the amount of money we spent on our food pantry versus the number of meals we gave out, we’re able to produce a meal for about 40-cents, so you can run those numbers on $20,000 and see how many meals we’d be able to provide for the Gulf Coast.”

Voting is now underway and ends August 30th. To vote just head on over to Gulf Coast Community Ministries Facebook page or visit https://gulfcoastministry.org. or go to Horne LLP’s website at hornellp.com/20in20.

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Toni started at WXXV News 25 in December of 2013, just three months after the news was launched. She has served as Assignment Editor, anchored for nearly two years, worked as a reporter for several years and hosted Coastal Connections for more than four years. Toni graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern Mississippi where she was editor of the Student Printz. She then did an internship on Capitol Hill, working for a U.S. Senator, then returned to Mississippi as a reporter at WDAM in Hattiesburg. After that, she moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, working as a reporter for FOX 25 in Biloxi, then crossing city lines to work at WLOX-TV news in Biloxi, starting out as a producer, then working as a photographer, reporter, weekend assignment editor and weekend anchor. She was among the station team that won the Edward Murrow and Peabody awards for coverage during Hurricane Katrina. Toni moved to the Lone Star State where she worked as the morning and noon anchor, investigative reporter and live shot reporter for KZTV Action 10 News, then KRIS TV News in Corpus Christi, Texas. Toni moved back to the Magnolia State to be with and take care of her family, working as a multi-media journalist and fill-in anchor at WDBD Fox 40 news in Jackson. After almost completing a second degree in filmmaking at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast, Toni transitioned back to news at News 25. Toni is blessed to have a wonderful support network of close family, friends and mentors, and she hopes to pay it forward. She has a three-legged chiweenie named Rocky Balboa because of his fighting spirit. She loves writing and has completed a novel that has been adapted into a screenplay, and has just finished another screenplay called "Delta Rose." She's currently working on a new legal thriller called "Fall From Grace." Stay tuned.... If you’d like to book a live in studio interview on News 25 Today, just email: tmiles@wxxv25.com. These interviews can have up to two guests, last about two minutes and showcase community events, non-profit organizations and things of interest to people in our area…and they’re FREE! Just send information about your event, including date, time, location, contact number and/or website for viewers wanting more information, along with the proper name and titles of the person or two people who will be interviewed, and Toni or producer Porsha Williams (pwilliams@wxxv25.com) will get back with you via email in a timely manner to book a date. Typical interview times are daily at: 5:45, 6:45, 7:45 or 8:45 am. Guests are asked to arrive about 30 minutes beforehand. You can also ask about booking a live shot on location for news events for our 6 and 7 am newscasts. We look forwarding to having you!

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