Organization needs help filling Christmas baskets, back packs - - The News for South Mississippi

Organization needs help filling Christmas baskets, back packs

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Back Bay Mission needs your help to make Christmas a lot merrier for those who are less fortunate. The organization is working on two holiday projects. One is a gift for needy families. The other is a surprise for the homeless.

Instead of using boxes, Back Bay Mission is making Christmas baskets for 150 needy families.

"It's a beautiful Christmas dinner with a turkey that we put this year instead of a box that was decorated. We have a laundry basket so the client would have a practical purpose after they ate the meal," said Jill Cartledge, Emergency Assistance Case Worker for Back Bay Mission.

People in the community have pledged to donate 100 baskets of food. Several casinos and businesses are providing frozen turkeys. But, there's still a shortage of food for 50 baskets.

"Right now, we need food for a family of size four to ten. We have a mother with her nine children, while the husband is deployed in Afghanistan," said Cartledge. "Most of the people that we're seeing are out of work or receive such low wages they can't possibly provide this kind of meal for their family."

Back Bay Mission is also planning a big Christmas surprise for the homeless in the community. Fifty homeless people will be getting back packs stuffed with food, clothing, and other necessities.

"We want our homeless clients to know they're not forgotten at Christmas. That they're just as important to us as our families. It's our way of sending them off with something that tells them they're cared about," said Cartledge.

There are plenty of back packs, but not enough food. The bags will also come with hand-made scarves, hats, and gloves. Val Brock was among those who received this gift last Christmas.

"Put a little spirit in my heart," said Brock. "Before that, I felt like nobody cared. But these people do care."

"These are incredible people. They may be homeless or needy, but they have wonderful loving hearts," said Cartledge. "So many of these clients we're serving today once provided donations to us before. So it's come around. We're giving back to them now."

If you would like to donate some food, you can drop them off at Back Bay Mission on Division Street in Biloxi or at Toney Chiropractic on Washington Avenue in St. Martin.  

Here is a list of food items that are needed for the Christmas baskets:

  • Boxed mashed potatoes
  • Gravy mix
  • Stuffing
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Cookie mix

Here are the items that are needed for the back packs:

  • Instant coffee
  • Hard Christmas candies
  • Canned ham
  • Hot chocolate mix
  • Canned white potatoes
  • Little Debbies holiday cakes

The back packs will be given out on December 20. The Christmas baskets will be distributed on December 21.

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