Gulf Coast for Kids Foundation gives Angel Tree a big boost - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Gulf Coast for Kids Foundation gives Angel Tree a big boost

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GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

The Salvation Army's annual Angel Tree program received a big boost this week from the Gulf Coast for Kids Foundation. Thursday, workers at the Salvation Army in Gulfport were busy unloading five pallets of boxes, all filled with new toys.

For 20 years, longtime coast car dealer Johnny Beck has organized a toy giveaway through the Gulf Coast for Kids Foundation. 

"I guess it started with me when I was in boot camp and just a young man.  I volunteered to work in an orphanage on the weekends. And it just kind of went on from that and I've been doing it ever since," said Johnny Beck.

But this year, he'll leave the toy distribution to the Salvation Army.

Beck and his wife Kim took time to tour the Angel Tree distribution center. Each of the hundreds of boxes they saw, represent a family in need.

"I think this is the best way to do it. We all need to get together with all the groups on the coast and go into one place and distribute the toys," said Kim Beck.

"We're having so much fun opening the boxes!  Imagine the kids on Christmas," said the Salvation Army's Meggan Webster, as she sorted through the toys.

She says the foundation's generous donation is a true blessing, at a time when need is greater than ever.

"We have roughly 3,000 children who are in need of Christmas gifts this year. And Gulf Coast for Kids have provided five pallets worth of toys to help give presents to children this year. So, it's going to be wonderful," said Webster.

"We're happy to do this every year. We love it," said Kim Beck.

The toys are shipped from Cincinnati, where a distributor sells them at cost, then pays for shipping out of his own pocket.

"Merry Christmas to everyone. And don't forget the kids that need our help," said Johnny Beck.

A similar shipment was made to the Salvation Army in Jackson County this week.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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