Wiggins warms hearts of homeless

By Al Showers - bio | email

WIGGINS, MS (WLOX) - In spite of the threat of rain, the blankets and coats poured in. Doctor Marie Heim organized this drive after visiting the Salvation Army's Homeless Shelter in Gulfport. Heim went there to donate her deceased father's coat to someone.

Heim says, "I'm known as Aunt B in the community, and I like to do helpful projects. And this came about, about a month ago when I thought about the cold weather and homeless people, needy people getting cold. "

She asked her friends and even city hall to get involved.

Wiggins Mayor Jerry Alexander says, "Me and Dr. Marie Heim has worked on several projects together we just finished with a belt drive for the kids in school who didn't have belts."

Her latest cause, Warm-Hearts of Stone County Helping Others Coat and Blanket Drive, brought in nearly 300 items to keep the needy warm. Wiggins resident Kristina Overcast donated 12 brand new blankets to the cause.

"I feel a need to take action sometimes rather than just to stand by and let a stranger go without food or blankets or anything like that," Overcast says. "Sometimes its best to lend a helping hand."

The donated goods are headed to the Salvation Army.

Salvation Army Major Will Cundiff says, "These particular clothing because they are gathered for the homeless will be put in a clothes closet. Both the clothing and the blankets will be distributed just for that purpose."

No one here seemed surprised at the out pouring of generosity.

Mayor Alexander says, "I'm not surprised cause when you call on the people up here in Wiggins they are here to help. Good honest hard working Christian people here in Wiggins."

"We've had a happy day. On a day of love and giving this has been a wonderful day," says Heim.

Doctor Heim is a retired college educator who says she's tried to make a difference in her community all of her life. She says with this project now behind her, it's time to plan what she will do next.