OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - A simple collaboration between three businessmen has made 130 children much happier in Ocean Springs. Organizers say all it took was a sign, and the people came through.
The second annual Holiday Bikes for Ocean Springs Kids is the joint effort of businessmen Mike Davis, Tim Wold and Kris Kwitzky.
"We did it because we wanted to give back," Davis said. "It was very easy to do. Ocean Springs has always been known for charitable donations, and quite frankly, it was real easy for us. All we did was hang a sign, ask for donations and it was done."
As a result, 130 people donated more than $10,000. The group partnered with the Ocean Springs School District to help choose the recipients, and then purchased the bikes from Walmart.
Most of the bikes were given to students in the district. The rest were given to the Ocean Springs Police Department for its toy drive.
"The cool thing about it is that the people that show up to donate, and it's the best of the best people," Kwitzky said. "I mean, there are some people that shouldn't be donating, and they're donating. I mean, that's a heart-warming thing for me."
Wold said the reaction is all he needs.
"It's heart-warming enough to just be part of it and put this together," Wold said. "That's the only thank you I get is the feeling I get when these kids come to get these bikes. It's an unbelievable feeling."
You don't need to look beyond the children themselves to know the joy. Best friends Alanna Shuttlesworth and Abby Eaton, both 12-years-old, couldn't wait to try out their new wheels.
"This fits my personality, so that's good," Alanna said. "I was staring at it all day."
Abby likewise enjoyed her early Christmas.
"I'm really excited because I love riding bikes, but I haven't had one for a long time," Abby said. "I wanted a yellow one I saw but then it's a boy's bike, so I couldn't get it but I'm OK."