Salvation Army Gives Merry Christmas to Needy

Annette Breland came to the Biloxi Community Center to pick up Christmas gifts for her five grandchildren she is raising. The 63-year old woman says trying to provide for the kids on a fixed income is tough. Breland says "half the time I can't pay bills. I mean I do little extra work to supplement our income. The children's parents are dead and I have complete control so there's nobody to help give to them." There wouldn't be much under Breland's Christmas tree if it wasn't for the toys, food and clothes donated to the Care and Share program. "They wouldn't have as good a Christmas, they really wouldn't because I couldn't afford to buy it."

Neither could James Sterling. He's shopping for his four children. Sterling says his kids have done without at Christmas before because he didn't have much money to buy presents. "I'm doing just enough to pay my bills and that's about it. Everybody's not benefittin' from everything that's goin' on on the coast," Sterling says.

. That's true for the six hundred families that asked the Salvation Army for help this year. Salvation Army officials say it's those people who work for minimum wage and are barely scrapping by. Stephen Story of the Salvation Army says "Most of these people are not makin' 15 and 20 dollars an hour. I don't know many people who make that much money anyway. But they're makin' just minimum wage or above even if they have jobs." Story says not everyone is benefitting from a prospering economy. He says as the cost of living goes up, more families must count on the generosity of others, and the Salvation Army wants to make sure the grinch doesn't steal their Christmas.