PEARLINGTON, MS (WLOX) - Easter treats came early for several homeless and needy families in Hancock County. The youth group at First Missionary Baptist Church of Pearlington delivered more than 60 Easter baskets to folks who showed up for a meal at Central Bible Church's soup kitchen, known as King's Kitchen.
"Happy Easter," said one young child as she handed a basket to a woman eating her lunch.
The Easter baskets were stuffed with all kinds of goodies: fruit, candy, non-perishable food items and hygiene products.
"I need me some shampoo; This is so sweet," said another woman after receiving a basket.
The unexpected Easter gifts from the First Missionary Baptist Church of Pearlington put smiles on a lot of faces. For some, it was like pulling treats from a Christmas stocking.
"Some cookies and some crackers, deodorant and some grape juice," said one woman as she surveyed the items in her Easter basket.
Recipients expressed their heart felt gratitude.
"It helps out the people who really need to be helped out and I bless them for that," said Carolyn Burley of Waveland.
Bay St. Louis resident Marcella Laneaux agreed, saying, "It was a surprise, you know, and I appreciate the Baptist church for doing this."
The Easter basket giveaway was the brain-child of the youth director at First Missionary Baptist Church of Pearlington. It is part of a Sunday school lesson for the children who handed out the baskets.
"We just wanted to do something to help the community. All of our lessons have been about helping thy neighbor. And I asked them, 'How would y'all feel if I didn't make y'all Easter baskets and we made them for someone else?' And they all agreed," explained Youth Director Tracy Oliver.
Oliver said it was the start of an Easter tradition. Several local businesses also helped to make the Easter basket giveaway possible.