Hundreds of parents line up at Toys for Tots distribution - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Hundreds of parents line up at Toys for Tots distribution

Posted: Updated:

By Sylvia Hall - bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - As closing time drew near Friday, many Jackson County parents lingered around the Toys for Tots warehouse, waiting for toys. Parents stood outside for hours as Toys for Tots volunteers called out numbers over a megaphone, allowing them inside in small numbers to pick out the perfect holiday gifts for their children.

Toys for Tots organizers said the rush started early, and hundreds of parents walked through their doors throughout the day. They said the down economy brought plenty of needy families to Toys for Tots for the first time this year and many at the last minute.

"See these people," said Toys for Tots organizer Mike Ulrich, pointing at the crowd. "These are last minute people that still need toys."

Thanks to an outpouring of community donations, each parent left Friday with toys for their children. Ulrich said he was concerned that goal might not be met earlier in the season when he realized this year's astounding need.

"I was getting the families registered, but the toys weren't there," Ulrich said. "And I was getting really worried. We put the word out there we needed toys, and they delivered."

Crystal Countryman, a last-minute beneficiary, is thankful the community came through.

"My little boy keeps asking me what he's going to get, and he only has like 1 or 2 toys. So I don't really have anything to tell him," Countryman said. "Times are getting really hard this year. I mean, I work, but I only make minimum wage. And it's just really tough right now."

Countryman said she never thought she'd need a charity like Toys for Tots and never signed up for the program.  She said she's relieved they opened their doors to her. 

"It breaks my heart to know that I'm struggling," said Countryman. "And my kids wouldn't get a good Christmas if it wasn't for people like this that donate toys to needy families."

Friday alone, organizers say the charity provided toys for 650 unregistered children.

"It's been real record-breaking," Ulrich said. "Not only did we raise the toys, but we broke numbers as far as helping families this year."

Karen Thomas appreciates the help.

"It means a whole lot to me and the kids," Thomas said. "I sure appreciate them helping out,  and God will bless everybody."

More donated toys are expected to arrive Saturday morning as distribution continues.

"We will not let a child go without a toy this Christmas," Ulrich said.

Distribution starts up again around 8 Saturday morning at the Jackson County Fairgrounds.

Anyone interested in contacting the Jackson County Toys for Tots program can call them at (228) 219-TOYS.

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Prosecutors: DNA evidence links Garcia to girl's murder

    Prosecutors: DNA evidence links Garcia to girl's murder

    Friday, August 29 2014 11:05 PM EDT2014-08-30 03:05:03 GMT
    The horrifying details of the capital murder of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson were presented to a judge Friday. A Gulfport detective talked about the evidence investigators have against Alberto Garcia.More >>
    The horrifying details of the capital murder of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson were presented to a judge Friday. A Gulfport detective talked about the evidence investigators have against Alberto Garcia. During Friday's hearing, prosecutors revealed that DNA evidence found on Janaya's body has come back from the crime lab with a positive match for Garcia's DNA.More >>
  • Breaking

    Man involved in fatal accident that killed wife apprehended

    Man involved in fatal accident that killed wife apprehended

    Friday, August 29 2014 6:09 PM EDT2014-08-29 22:09:42 GMT
    The man involved in Thursday's fatal accident on Wolf River Road that killed one woman is now in custody.More >>
    The man involved in Thursday's fatal accident on Wolf River Road that killed one woman is now in custody. Harrison County Sheriff Melvin Brisolara said Joshua Emmanuel Ladner, 27, was arrested at his home on Fire Tower Road in Pass Christian on Friday. He is charged with felony leaving the scene of an accident causing death and felony fleeing.More >>
  • Breaking

    Man killed by stolen van in Biloxi identified

    Man killed by stolen van in Biloxi identified

    Friday, August 29 2014 6:07 PM EDT2014-08-29 22:07:04 GMT
    The man who was killed by an alleged drunk driver in a stolen van on Friday morning has been identified.More >>
    The man who was killed by an alleged drunk driver in a stolen van on Friday morning has been identified. Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove said 26-year-old Christopher Curry, of Jackson, was pronounced dead at the Ocean Springs Hospital shortly before 7:15 a.m.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.