JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Surprise gifts will be waiting under the Christmas tree for hundreds of children across Jackson County. The volunteers with the "Believe Children's Toy Drive" have been busy this week, getting ready to hand-out toys and other gifts to needy families.
The Arts and Crafts Building at the Jackson County Fairgrounds looked more like Santa's warehouse Tuesday. Elves were unloading toys, sorting the donations, and placing them in all the right categories.
"Amazing, absolutely crazy, better than I ever imagined," said Pamela Williams. "I think it's going to be really, really amazing."
The Helena woman headed-up the "Believe Children's Toy Drive" after learning that there was quite a need in Jackson County this holiday season.
"We call it 'Believe' because we believe that God will provide what we need," said Williams.
The county provided the space, and more than 60-businesses collected toys or donated money. There should be enough toys for about 820-children on the list.
"I was very surprised and just heartbroken at some of the families that we saw. They're barely paying their light bill, much less taking care of Christmas," said Williams.
Her family and friends also pitched-in to help save Christmas for those in need.
"It makes me happy. I wake up excited in the morning to come down here and help and work with other volunteers," said Angela Reynolds. "I would hate to ever experience seeing a child not get anything for Christmas, just the sadness of it, because they have to feel like they were forgotten."
"I think they'll feel really good that they got a present," said 11-year-old Bayleigh Jones.
For Pamela Williams, it has been an exhausting two months.
"It has helped me to step out of that shell some. It has been work, but it's been well worth it," she said.
And she called the thousands of toys and the joy they'll bring to children her greatest reward.
"That's my gift. That's all I need for Christmas, just to pull this off," Williams said with a big laugh.
"It's really exciting. And that's the one thing that I really want out of all this is to know Christmas morning, when I wake up with my family, and we're celebrating our Christmas is that we help bring Christmas to all the other children," she added.
The toy distribution will take place this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday by appointment only. No children will be allowed.
A different toy distribution will take place Thursday involving the Jackson County Salvation Army and its Angel Tree program.
Donations are still being accepted for the Believe give away, especially toys for older children between the ages of 12-15. You can drop off donations at the Jackson County Fairgrounds or you can call Williams at (228) 355-8227.