PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Singing River nurse Tobie Nix is concerned about the weather, but her worries have nothing to do with the recent rains.
"I am really afraid that we are going to have a pretty harsh winter this year," Nix said.
That's why her team is washing, drying and folding donated blankets and coats for needy families.
"Some things are new and some things are old, but it does not matter because everybody is coming together as one community," Nix said. "We are helping other people in this same community."
The coat drive is important to Singing River Health System because the employees know there are many children and adults who just can't afford to buy proper winter clothing.
"It is really sad. Sometimes it's really hard when you see a lot of people here with four, five, or six kids every day washing all the clothes, and sometimes they don't have anything," volunteer Giselle Perez said.
"We are seeing more homeless people coming in. They get to the ER, we treat them for whatever reason, and then they have no place to go," Nix said.
Organizers said they're amazed at the generosity of south Mississippians this holiday season. They collected 300 coats and more than 100 blankets in just one month. That's more than double what the group collected last year.
The early Christmas presents were dropped off at the Salvation Army in Pascagoula, where they were welcomed and appreciated.
"The times are very tough because the weather gets cooler and the parents are trying to provide for their children as far as Christmas, so every little bit helps," Salvation Army Lt. Jerry Williams said.