BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Minister Darlene Carroll is spreading Christmas cheer on the coast and throughout the Southeast, and she's doing it one card at a time. On Monday, we tagged along as Carroll surprised unsuspecting shoppers at Edgewater Mall with Christmas cards.
Carroll signed, sealed, and even hand delivered many of the cards as a way of letting people know they aren't forgotten.
"This Christmas, I've sent out - the final count - 10,275 Christmas cards to first responders and military personnel," Carroll said.
She started handing out cards in July of 2015 when her father passed away. Every day, for over a year, she sent a card to her grieving mother. And she sends cards to people like first responders, military personnel, just about anyone she meets.
"It's funny how many hands a blessing goes through. It went from my hand, to the mailman's hand here. That blessing was passed on from person to person to person. And it doesn't take much to bless somebody," said Carroll.
Though not everyone was interested. Many searching for gifts for someone else were surprised to learn Carroll had something for them.
"I'm hoping that somebody that doesn't have anybody knows that there's somebody that cares about them," said Carroll.
Frankie Petty said Carroll made her day simply by handing her a card and wishing her a Merry Christmas.
"I've never had someone walk up to me and give me a card that I didn't know. That's very, very thoughtful of her," said Petty.
Carroll hopes her gesture not only continues to put smiles on people's faces, but also inspires others to pay it forward. Anyone interested in donating extra cards to Carroll may call her at (228) 437-5109.