Cole Crawford has been living in South Mississippi for just two months, but he's already experienced our area's spirit of giving. The Keesler Airman was one of more than 60 people who have been chosen to have their purchases paid for through the Random Acts of Kindness Program at Edgewater Mall.
"It was kind of stunning. It was hard to believe," Crawford said.
"What we are doing is going to different stores throughout the mall and randomly choosing customers and paying for their purchases," said Michelle Rogers, Marketing Director of Edgewater mall. "We ask them if they get a chance this holiday season to kind of pay it forward. Give someone a hand if they get the chance to get everyone to remember why we're giving."
Kathy Walters was buying Christmas Gifts when she was chosen as a recipient. She hopes her grandson also gets something from it.
"That he will learn to give and be thankful. We went yesterday and got free books in D'Iberville. They were giving them away. He really enjoyed that," Walters said.
Gulfport resident Bob Frengel also got more than he bargained for. After being chosen as a Random Acts of Kindness recipient, he promised to pay it forward.
"I don't know what to say except that I'll go about doing things to be nicer to others and be grateful for what I've been blessed with," Frengel said.
Organizers say they hope to make Random Acts of Program a holiday tradition at the mall.