Kentucky Drive Rounds Up Thousands of Toys for South Mississippians - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

12/10/05

Kentucky Drive Rounds Up Thousands of Toys for South Mississippians

The lines were long and the smiles were broad at Operation Win for Kids at the Biloxi Public Safety Building Saturday morning.

Santa was on hand to visit with youngsters, but it was the generosity of people from out of state that provided these Mississippi children with gifts and other goodies.

"We brought enough toys for about 5,000 children. It's clothing, books, toys, little bitty bags of treats for them to take home. We collected this in Louisville, Kentucky. It was all 100-percent donated," said Woody Williams, one of the coordinators of Operation Win for Kids.

Coordinators began collecting donations three months ago after hearing news of the devestation in South Mississippi.

Their hard work paid off.

The delivery came just in time for South Mississippi families still struggling to recover from the hurricane.

"Christmas time is a whole lot tougher than it was last year. Last year, we were able to go out to stores and get things that we wanted, but this year we had to think about repairs for the home," said Shirelle McNeal, a South Mississippi resident.

Toys and goody bags aren't all the youngsters walked away with.

There were also two former NFL football players on hand to give autographs.

"Just to see the look in the little kids' eye when you sign something when they receive a gift, that's somehtign that's priceless. As long as we continue to give back in our communities, and different communities that need help, it makes you feel good inside," said former NFL player Troy Drayton.

Reggie Givens also gave out autographs.

 The event provided a picture perfect moment many South Mississippi youngsters are sure to remember for years to come.

By: Toni Miles

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