SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - The United States Marine Corps is collecting gifts for around 800 South Mississippi children this Christmas Season.
Staff Sergeant Marvin Perez is the Toys for Tots coordinator. "This year it started out really slow, but it actually picked up in mid November," Perez said.
With more children than usual, Staff Sergeant Perez was thrilled when he found out the cast of Duck Dynasty wanted to help.
"Just the fact that they thought about this and that they had a consideration to give out to those families, it's just an overwhelming great feeling that I have," Perez said.
Artist Michael Hunt has created several pieces of artwork with the Duck Dynasty crew.
"Phil and the whole rest of the gang, we decided to do it just a few weeks ago," Hunt said, "so we are kind of really rushing now to see what we can do to raise as much money as possible."
Members of the Robertson family signed the pictures and one of the prints is also signed by Coach Sean Payton. They decided from now until Christmas 20 percent of the artwork sales will go to Toys for Tots.
"Family is the cornerstone to the show and it is in real life," Hunt said, "it's all about family to them and just the thought of a kid not having a toy for Christmas is just something most of us really can't imagine. To know we can do something immediate to make a difference it kind of was a no brainier."
At first Staff Sergeant Perez was a little worried because donations were just trickling in, but now this could turn out to be the best year yet.
"Hopefully it will make our job a whole lot crazier, but it's going to be well worth it," Perez said. "I think just seeing the smiles on their faces when they receive a toy, and especially on the parents' faces, those in need. It's just an amazing picture."
If you would like to donate to Toys for Tots, you can drop off a new, unwrapped toy at the WLOX TV Studio at 208 DeBuys Road, Biloxi. The collection goes until Thursday.
To find out more about donating by buying the Duck Dynasty prints, visit Hunt's page: http://www.nolafineart.com/ .