An early Christmas present: Organizations bring gifts to local children

A couple of Santa’s local helpers made sure the Christmas spirit made its way to the Gulf Coast.

Christmas came early to the Ardoin family and others across the Coast as Extend a Hand, Help a Friend, Gulfport Police, Morning Star Baptist Church, and Councilman R. Lee Flowers filled in for Santa. Gulfport resident Leo Ardoin said, “I’m not used to people being this nice. Where I’m from, everyone keeps to theirs. So, I’m glad I moved here. I didn’t even know how to explain it.”

Gulfport Councilman R. Lee Flowers said, “They asked why and I just told them that they have a lot of people that love them. It took a lot of people to make this happen, but every last one of us benefits from this.”

Jeffrey Hulum III with Extend a Hand, Help a Friend said, “Just to see that expression, that was my Christmas present right there.”

Toys, bicycles, and plenty of stuffed animals made this Monday morning feel like Christmas morning for children in Gulfport, Long Beach, and Biloxi. Extend a Hand, Help a Friend reached out to various organizations and council members to make sure these gifts were delivered to families that needed some help this season. “They received something that’s a small token to some people, but a big thing to them. That just let us know the state of our economy right now. It takes all of us to be whole again.”

And a group effort it is as the Christmas caravan drove house-to-house spreading good tidings of joy. Gulfport Police Department Public Information Officer Jason Ducre said, “You know any time we can do something positive, especially around the holidays, we’re about it.”

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