How you can donate to tornado victims
PINE BELT (WDAM) - With four confirmed dead and dozens injured, Hattiesburg and Petal residents are in need of help after the Jan. 21 tornado.
Area organizations are asking residents to donate items to assist victims of the tornado.
Volunteer Hattiesburg is asking for donations of the following:
- non-perishable food items
- can openers
- plastic food containers
- baby supplies
- bottled water
- pet food and supplies
- disinfectant wipes
- flashlights and batteries
- rain ponchos
A full list of drop off locations can be viewed here.
You can also view what people need at pinebeltrelief.com
The state will be setting up a Volunteer Response Center for local and out-of-state volunteers. The center will be located at East Jerusalem Baptist Church at 410 S Tipton Street in Hattiesburg. The center will begin operations on Tuesday at 9 a.m.
The PineBelt Community Foundation will partner with R3SM, Restore Recover and Rebuild Southeast MS, who will work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to provide case workers and case investigators to help those in who will have long-term recovery needs. Any monies raised will help victims in the Pine Belt area with long-term recovery needs.
William Carey has also set up two separate funds for donations:
"The generosity of the community has been amazing. The students' personal needs have been met at this time. However, students will continue to have financial needs in the weeks to come as they begin replacing textbooks, computers, other school supplies, clothing, and making repairs to their cars. Right now our greatest need is for financial contributions for the ongoing needs of students. Donations can be made online at www.wmcarey.edu/advancement. Please note your donation is for Student Tornado Relief or Tornado Damage Fund. This page is the official way to give to the WCU tornado recovery efforts. Please be cautious using other fundraising pages that are set up."
"Several years ago the Foundation opened the Pine Belt Community Disaster Fund to help disaster victims in times of need like this," said Theresa Erickson, Executive Director of the Greater Pine Belt Community Foundation. "The Disaster Fund is a long-term recovery fund designed to provide financial relief for those who lost homes and property."
Members from the Tree of Life Ministries in Hattiesburg are reaching out to help those in the community.
The group is offering free clothing, non-perishable food and other items needed to help folks get back on their feet.
They are asking anyone in need, to come by their fellowship hall beside the church, located on Dewey Street, off the Highway 42 bypass.
Rowan Elementary School has collected school uniforms, cleaning supplies and adult clothing to give back to their community.
Parents are welcome to pick up supplies any time during the school's hours from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Rowan is also asking for donations. The school's counselor said that the tornado has brought a sense of unity to the school community.
Individuals interested in volunteer relief efforts can contact the Red Cross at 601-582-8151 or go to the Red Cross office at 2020 Hardy Street or get more information from Volunteer Hattiesburg's Facebook page. Volunteer assignment and communication will begin once clearance of safety has been received from official state agencies.