Delisle man plays Santa for needy children

DELISLE, MS (WLOX) - Thanks to Jeremy Martin, hundreds of needy kids on the Coast found gifts under their Christmas trees this year. It's a story of goodwill inspired by a Delisle man's big heart.

Martin loaded his truck down with more than 400 toys including action figures, games, dolls and accessories.

Everything was collected because one man couldn't bare the thought of children going without toys this Christmas.

"It all comes from the heart actually. If you have a good heart you're going to spread the love as much as you can," said Martin.

The toys were collected at Eunique Kutz, a barber shop on 30th Avenue in Gulfport. It's the place Martin gets his hair cut.

The truck driver often runs across the homeless during his travels.

"If I'm able to do something to help somebody, that's what I'm going to do."

Martin often helps the homeless he sees on the streets. His toy drive was inspired by a homeless family he stopped to help a week and a half ago.

"They had two kids walking down the street with a sign that said 'homeless can't afford any food for my kids.' That's what I told my wife, if they can't afford food they can't afford toys for Christmas. So we need to try to help out as many people as we can."

His box for needy children filled up quickly. Monday, he dropped the gifts off at the Salvation Army in Gulfport.

"Every year we have people who missed Angel Tree register deadline or just don't realize until just a few weeks before Christmas they're going to need help," said Sara Miller, with the Salvation Army.

"So we put people on a waiting list, and we've been filling those requests on the waiting list for the past two days. These toys that Jeremy has blessed us with will be given to the people on that list."

It was one man's idea to make a big difference this Christmas.

"It's all about giving back to the people that actually need help actually," Martin said.

Martin says he collected the toys in a little more than a week. He plans on making the toy drive an annual event.

Next year he says he will add drop box locations and start his drive a couple of months before Christmas arrives.

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