GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Leaders of a homeless outreach organization said their prayers have been answered thanks to the compassion and generosity of South Mississippians. When Shepherd of the Gulf went to distribute gifts collected for people living in camps, the demand was more than expected, and there wasn't enough to go around.
Organizers put out a call for help, hoping for the best, and they were overwhelmed by the response.
Lynda Favre was overjoyed every time she opened a box or bag of donations. Her delight was a total 180 from the worry and concern she felt after Shepherd of the Gulf went into the wooded areas to give Christmas presents to the homeless and realized there wasn't enough to give.
"That happened because the campers that came brought other campers with them that we did not anticipate, which was a blessing, but we couldn't let them go away empty handed," said Favre. "So, we gave them gifts that would have gone further on down the line, so we ended up running out of gifts. That never has happened before."
After a plea for help went out on WLOX News, the public responded, including members from Stable Baptist Church in Saucier.
"My little boy gets anything he wants, so I just figured that we could give a kid something too," said Jeremy Morris. "That's what my dad always preaches about at our church, being there for the community, so that's what we're there for."
Morris said the donation was about remembering the reason for the season, which is to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
"He sent his son to die on a cross for us, so the least we can do is show our love toward other people as he showed his love toward us. That's all he wants is for us to love each other," Morris said. "No matter skin color, where you come from, where you live, we're all here for one another."
Favre says she is grateful for kind hearts and answered prayers.
"We'll have enough this time. When we go on this last trip, which will be tomorrow, that will be it. God will provide. He has, he will and he will continue," said Favre.