Christmas Comes Early for Some Bay St. Louis Residents

Skye Marie Kinard spelled out holiday tidings on a Christmas card she was making for her mother Saturday morning.

Nearby, her sister and a friend danced to Christmas tunes.

The Kinards, who lost their home to Katrina, are one of many families who showed up for the Shoebox of Love Christmas celebration in Bay St. Louis Saturday afternoon.

"This group of people here have really helped us get into the spirit. They've been so nice. They've helped me with presents, my family, and just being here talking to people, it's really helping us a lot," said Rosalind Kinard, Skye Marie's mother.

City Team Ministries put on the holiday bash for Bay St. Louis youngsters and their parents.

"That's what today's about, trying to do more of a celebration, to be a little more festive, and to help them get past the pain they've been feeling," said Kevin Fischer, a member of City Team Ministries.

More than 450 toys were collected and given to Bay St. Louis families at the celebration.

"I didn't know that there were people out there who cared about everybody. I just didn't know that there was that many who would do all this," said resident Tori Kinard

To top it all off, old Saint Nick made a quick stop at the celebration.

While most of his elves were busy back at the North Pole loading up his sleigh, Santa had his hands full, too, visiting with children.

As for the Kinards, they say their holiday wishes have already been granted, thanks to the good deeds of people from across the nation.