Tupelo staff to collect, give gifts

TUPELO – City employees grateful for their jobs this holiday season will share their joy with less fortunate families through a new municipal gift program.
“Giving Back To Our Community” is a city-sponsored toy drive that will benefit parents struggling to purchase Christmas or other holiday gifts for their children.
“The idea came about after the budget was approved and all the employees were so grateful to have kept their jobs,” said Contanna Purnell, Tupelo Human Resources assistant manager. “In HR, you see so many people applying for jobs who don’t have jobs that we wanted to give something back.”
Each municipal department was assigned an age group, and employees already have started buying toys.
“We’ve got about 25 gifts right now,” said Jimmy Avery, assistant fire chief. “Our group is the 10- to 12-year-olds. We’re just getting out there and trying to do a little bit. If you can make somebody’s day brighter, that’s what it’s all about.”
Families wishing to apply for city gift assistance can fill out an application online or get one at City Hall. A municipal committee will select recipients based on need and toy availability.
Applications will be accepted until Dec. 4.
Those chosen will be called to City Hall in mid-December to accept the gifts and enjoy a small reception.
“I’d love to get as many gifts as possible,” Purnell said, “so that we can bless each family in need.”

Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or emily.lecoz@djournal.com.

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Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal