Volunteers spread holiday cheer to needy families & homeless

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Volunteers are helping make this Christmas a little merrier for hundreds of needy families as well as the homeless. It's never too early to learn how to be kind to others. That's why Cathy Wildschuetz took her children to help out at Back Bay Mission in Biloxi.

"I have two little kids and so for me it's really passing on to my kids how important it is to help the community," said Wildschuetz.

"It's not about Santa Claus and presents. It's about giving back."

Volunteers handed out gift bags to 125 homeless people. Back Bay also threw a Christmas party.

"Because we know a lot of our homeless guests here at Back Bay don't have a Christmas," said caseworker Roxxanne Watts.

"They're not going to be getting gifts. So what we do is we fix bags of with hygiene products, food, maybe some gloves, socks, a scarf. That type of thing and a backpack and we give that to them as their Christmas present from Back Bay."

As part of another program, Back Bay provided families with baskets filled with turkeys and other food times. Individuals and coworkers from several local businesses passed out the donations.

"It makes me feel really good but it also makes me appreciative of the things that I have," said volunteer Tara Owens.

"There are times you can feel down in your own life and when you get to help somebody else and make their day a little better it's really fulfilling. I just really enjoy helping."

Volunteers hope people realize no matter how difficult their situation, there is someone who cares.

"A lot of them don't have family. If they do have family they're not in the area and they get depressed so we try to give them a little Christmas cheer," said Watts.

"I think they really enjoy it."

Back Bay Mission officials said they also planned to take some gift bags into the homeless camps where people are living in the woods.

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