Wesson area donors seeking to assist Mississippi storm survivors have been giving money and goods to help them through at least two organizations locally.
Both Co-Lin and American Legion Drane-Prine Post # 79 announced they would accept donations, and local churches, although they made no public announcements, often are affiliated with national disaster response agencies.
Through March 30, Co-Lin in partnership with Mississippi Delta Community College collected water, protein bars, peanut butter and toiletries from donors who brought them to Student Services in the Henley Building for distribution to affected persons.
The American Legion started collecting funds and goods April 3-8, and is continuing April 10-15 at its 1014 Main Street location from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday and 12 noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
The Legion is requesting personal hygiene items, including toothpaste, tooth brushes, deodorant, bath towels, shampoos and conditioner; new pillows, sheets, blankets, air mattresses and cots; charcoal, trash bags, bandaids, five-gallon buckets with lids, peanut butter, individual wrapped snacks, protein bars and bottled water; and pet supplies, including dog and cat food and kennels.
With donated funds, the Legion will buy supplies and contribute to the America Legion Emergency Relief Fund, which also assists veterans and their families who are members of the Legion.
Two church agencies with local congregations always on the scene at disasters are the Southern Baptist Convention and United Methodist Committee on Relief.
In late March, a powerful storm that spawned at least one devastating tornado that killed 25 people in Mississippi and leveled hundreds of buildings. Rolling Fork, a town of around 1,900 in western Mississippi, was hit the hardest, with its water tower destroyed, homes reduced to rubble, tree trunks snapped like twigs and cars tossed aside like toys. Silver City, a rural community of around 300, saw similar devastation.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency in affected areas, observing that “the scale of the damage and loss is evident everywhere affected. Homes, businesses ... entire communities." President Joe Biden ordered federal aid to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in the affected areas, specifically Carroll, Humphreys, Monroe, and Sharkey counties. Mississippi officials set up three emergency shelters, including at the National Guard Armory in Rolling Fork, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) director travelled to the scene.