New clothes headed for tornado victims

By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Some Northeast Mississippi residents who lost everything in last month’s tornadoes will get brand-new clothes thanks to Southern Tide.
The South Carolina company donated dozens of high-quality polo shirts, sports shirts, khaki pants and shorts. Each item retails separately for around $70 to $100, according to the company’s online store.
They were shipped first to MLM Clothier in Tupelo, which does business with Southern Tide. Then they were taken by Whittington Office Products to a distribution center in Smithville, where they’ll be given to needy tornado victims from Smithville, Wren and Okolona and elsewhere.
“It’s super nice,” said John Hallman, Smithville’s point of distribution manager, who received the items Thursday.
Southern Tide’s donation came after one of its sales representatives saw firsthand the storm’s destruction. He had been doing business in the area when the tornado hit, said MLM co-owner Joe Yarber. Soon after, the company called MLM to offer the clothes.
“When they said they would send donations, we thought it would be seconds,” Yarber recalled. “But these are brand new items. These are the same clothes we stock.”
One of the store’s customers was so overwhelmed by Southern Tide’s generosity, he bought two of the company’s shirts off the shelf, Yarber said.
“This is the Tupelo Spirit,” said Whittington Office Supplies owner and Ward 1 City Councilman Markel Whittington, who stopped by MLM as his employees loaded the van with clothes for Smithville. “This is what it’s all about.”

Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or emily.lecoz@journalinc.com.