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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Volunteers with a beloved Columbus holiday charity wrapped up their work to make Christmas a happy one for children in need.

Thursday (12-20) morning volunteers with the Happy Irby Fund wrapped presents for more than 300 local underprivileged children. Each child receives a complete outfit, and a free meal. It’s been a holiday tradition on the Columbus Air Force Base since 1958, when the late Happy Irby saved tips he made working at the Columbus Club to help others.

“This particular project started with my father Happy. I think he wanted his legacy to be that the base and the community would continue to work together in efforts to help children and the elderly,” said George Irby, the Happy Fund chairman.

“Over 200 of the children who are going to receive these boxes are homeless, and the Happy Foundation is just going to make their Christmas a little bit brighter by providing an outfit for them for the holidays,” said CAFB volunteer Mai Lan Isler.

Monetary donations are collected throughout the year for this annual project.

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