Toy drive held at Seabee base benefits military families

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Balfour Beatty communities, a property management agency on Naval Construction Battalion Center (NCBC) in Gulfport teamed up with Operation Homefront of Louisiana and Mississippi to put on a toy drive for military families on Monday at the Seabee base.

The organizers say they know the holidays can often put a strain on the pocket book so they decided to give back to those who serve our country. Over at the theater on NCBC it was hard to walk inside and not feel like you were in Santa's workshop. Toys covered rows of tables and they are all going home to children whose parents  are serving or  have served in our military.

"Military families do so much for us throughout the whole year. This is our way of making their holidays a little bit brighter," said Spencer Hayman the Executive Director Operation Homefront.

Leana Luppino says those donations allowed her to save some money by providing the items on her children's Christmas lists.

"It's not easy as some people think, being in the military like financially. So anything I mean were just like anybody else anything helps," said Luppino.

This toy drive is just one of many events Operation Home Front and Balfour Beatty Communities put on throughout the year for the military.

Organizers say 70 military families are benefiting from the toy drive that consists of more than 4,000 toys that come from Dollar Tree's throughout the Gulf Coast and from Fisher Price.

In addition to the toys $50 Walmart gift cards were handed out.

"My son received, he's older so he got a Walmart giftcard. My daughter got a Barbie and we got a Walmart giftcard for food," Luppino said.

"I have two hot wheels sets for my boys. They have police sets here. It's just a plethora of toys. I'm all kinds of toys for the kids for Christmas," Alfred Scruggs said.

As toys continued to get stuffed into bags, these recipients say they are happy someone is remembering them during the holiday season. Operation Homefront is a non-profit organization that supports military families throughout the United States.

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