For more than 20 years this department has managed a doll and toy fund for families in need throughout Hancock County.
This project started out with the firemen reconditioning used toys. The senior citizens supplied homemade doll clothes and monetary donations were solicited. This has evolved into an enormous project that goes on year round. The Firemen's Doll and Toy Fund not only distributes toys, but in many cases clothes and personal necessities in the aftermath of fires and disasters.
The Hancock County Firemen's Doll and Toy Fund is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)3 charity and is an agency of the United Way of South Mississippi.
Stennis Space Center employees have adopted the Fund as one of their Christmas charities.
The annual classic and street rod car show started in 1998 and is held on the Saturday following the 4th of July on the grounds of the historic Bay St. Louis Depot. Southern Who Car Club has traditionally partnered with the Fund to manage and support the show. Other car clubs who are interested should contact Gary Maurice at the fire station. 228-467-4736.
With the success of Blast in the Bay the Fund was brought to the attention of other car and motorcycle clubs on the coast. The Asgard Motorcycle Club of Kiln, Mississippi, supports the Fund with the Magic Toy Parade run from Biloxi to Bay St. Louis. The riders arrive in the Bay and present their donation to the Fund. Map and details
Toys remain with the Fire Department, food is distributed to the Hancock County Food Pantry and any cash is donated to Hope Haven, the county's home for abused and neglected children. Donations of books, videos, art supplies, lap robes, and toiletries are given to the Senior Citizens center. If additional monies are available the monies go toward supplies to meet the needs of special education classes.