Red Cross brightens Christmas in Mississippi
Some Mississippi residents spent their Christmas giving rather than receiving this year.
The American Red Cross of North Mississippi’s disaster program manager, Nicholas Garbacz, says members of the Marine Corps helped turn the Eddie Smith Multi-Purpose Center in Holly Springs into a substitute Santa’s Workshop.
The marines donated bundles of toys for those who lost everything – including presents under their Christmas trees – during this week’s killer storms
Jerry Jones said most of his christmas presents were destroyed in the storms, so he came to the center to get toys for his young nieces.
"I’m here to shop for my little nieces for a toy for Christmas. We were affected by the tornado." Jones said.
"It just, it means a lot cause really at a time like this you know where people care for you and what’s really important is your family, your friends, and just having the gift of life," said shopper Krystal DeBerry. ""I know it’s an unusual Christmas, but he gave us the gift of life, and I’m thankful."
"This is Christmas for us today, you know, helping out. Maybe we can go home with our families later, but we come out to help our community out first," said Justin Holp, a volunteer.
Garbacz says dozens of children and their families showed up Friday morning to pick up a toy or two and other items they might need to help on their path to recovery. He says it was a wonderful experience for those giving and for those getting.
Steve Swann, the agency’s logistic head, told WMC-TV that he and his wife, Audrey, helped with the giveaway.
Van Rayford, who’s now in a hotel with his kids and six of his grandchildren, says he’s thankful the Swanns and others sacrificed their Christmas so that his family could have one.