There was some nervous laughter and a great many genuine smiles last week at the King's Kitchen as Charles Burke and his brother Fred handed out brightly-wrapped Christmas gifts.
"This is probably the only Christmas present I'm gonna get this year," one King's Kitchen guest said Friday.
The Burke brothers were handing out the gifts on behalf of The Garden Church in Waveland and Tisa's Helping Hands Ministry. Tisa's Helping Hands was started by Charles' wife Audrey Burke, to honor their late daughter, Tisa.
"This is probably the fifth or sixth year we've done this," Charles said. "When we first started, we were living in Biloxi, but we just relocated to Long Beach. (Audrey) actually starts working on this just after Christmas each year."
Audrey Burke and a handful of friends, family and other volunteers gather nearly 2,000 presents each year to hand out to deserving Coast residents who might not always get much of a Christmas.
They also get some help from the Christian Life Center and "a whole lot of people donate wrapping paper," he said.
"The Burke family and that ministry has for the last couple of years helped to make Christmas a special time for our guests and I really appreciate them doing that," Pastor Mike Ramsey of King's Kitchen and Central Bible Church said.
The King's Kitchen is an outreach ministry designed to feed the homeless and indigent in Hancock County, but everyone is welcome.
The Silver Slipper Casino will provide a free complete ham dinner this Christmas Day from 11;30 to 1 p.m. at the King's Kitchen. Everyone is invited.
Call 228-493-4796 or go to Facebook.