Legacy of giving: Volunteers carry on ‘Happy Christmas Fund’

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – A little wrapping paper. A little tape. And, a whole lot of Christmas cheer. Volunteers with the “Happy Christmas Fund” spent the morning wrapping gifts for some area children.

The Columbus Christmas tradition began years ago when George “Happy” Irby began taking the tips he earned at the Columbus Club at Columbus Air Force Base and bought gifts for older people and needy families in Columbus.

Volunteers shopped for gifts Monday night and passed the torch to the gift-wrapping team the next morning.

“I was like how I grew up, I was raised to always give back to the community and help those who need the help,” said Senior Airman Nildalis Velez.

“So you know making sure that everybody is feeling loved and welcome. And it’s hard times sometimes for families. And you know I’ve seen people not have enough money to support just extracurricular stuff like Christmas gifts. You know, barely surviving and living out there,” said Aerospace Philosophy Technician Najah Bakkar.

Even though Happy Irby passed away 14 years ago, his legacy lives on with a dedicated group of volunteers from the Columbus Air Force base and the Columbus community.

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Categories: Local News