Harrison County

A Bay St. Louis mom of 7 said she was going shopping. Her family grew by 2 on the trip.

Sisters Amy Fayard Haygood, left, and Tanya Fayard Malley were adopted by Norvin and Anna Bell Fayard, after being placed as infants at the Harrison County Emergency Children's Shelter. Haygood is glad she will have the chance to show her gratitude when she volunteers at the shelter through A Gift of Time, a program she coordinates for her employer, Trustmark.
Sisters Amy Fayard Haygood, left, and Tanya Fayard Malley were adopted by Norvin and Anna Bell Fayard, after being placed as infants at the Harrison County Emergency Children's Shelter. Haygood is glad she will have the chance to show her gratitude when she volunteers at the shelter through A Gift of Time, a program she coordinates for her employer, Trustmark. amccoy@sunherald.com

Anna Bell Fayard told her husband she was going shopping.

Truth be told, two baby girls at the Harrison County Emergency Children's Shelter needed a home.

When Fayard returned, she wasn't carrying groceries.

"She's the only woman I know who could go shopping and come home with two babies," husband Norvin Fayard was fond of saying.

Amy Haygood of Biloxi was one of those babies. She was 6 months old when the Fayards took in her and her 2-year-old sister in 1970. In 1973, the Bay St. Louis couple adopted the girls.

The Fayards were in their 50s and had already raised seven children.

Sadly, Norvin Fayard died months after the adoption. Anna Bell Fayard managed on Social Security, with a grown disabled son, and still provided everything the adopted sisters needed, plus took in other foster children.

Haygood said she loves her life and has always been grateful the children's shelter was there for her and her sister. Haygood was sleeping in a dresser drawer before she was removed from her first home.

Haygood coordinates the volunteer program A Gift of Time for her employer, Trustmark, where she is a vice president. For several days each year, Trustmark employees volunteer at a local nonprofit.

This year, Haygood selected the Harrison County Emergency Children's Shelter for their volunteer work in June.

Haygood chose the shelter after visiting a few months ago as a part of the Leadership Gulf Coast class.

"That's when I realized that this is where I came from, this is where my mom got me," she said. "Oh my gosh, my heart fell. I am so thankful."

"Every single time I drive by now, I think of my mom. I didn't realize it was right there."

During their volunteer time, Trustmark employees will decorate the toddler room, plant flowers and do arts and crafts with the children. They are also collecting supplies to take to the shelter.

The emergency shelter houses children who are one day to 18 years old and who have been abused or neglected or run away from home. Founded in 1960s, the Youth Court shelter was the first of its kind in Mississippi.

Haygood said, "I am blessed beyond measure to be able to give back to the place that cared for me during my time of need — after 48 years!"

From the children's shelter to medical school

Anita Lee can be reached at 228-896-2331 or @CAnitaLee1

How to help

Trustmark is accepting drop-off donations for the Harrison County Emergency Children's Shelter to deliver during its volunteer effort. The last drop-off date is June 1.

Needed items: Clothing and shoes of all sizes, new or gently worn; socks and underwear; disposable diapers, including pullups; baby rice cereal, baby formula, baby food (Stages 2 and 3), hair accessories, hygiene products, sippy cups, etc.; individually packaged snacks such as cookies, chips, gummies, cakes, Capri Sun, etc.

Financial contributions: Drop off at Trustmark or mail to Harrison County Youth Court shelter, P.O. Box 134, Biloxi, MS 39533.

Drop-off locations: Trustmark at 1695 Popp's Ferry Road, Biloxi; 2320 14th St., Gulfport; Trustmark Mortgage, 15465 Oak Lane (at U.S. 49), Unit 100-A, Gulfport.

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