By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – A Tupelo man was driving late at night last Wednesday when an idea came to him.
“Just something spoke to me and said, ‘Do something,’” Marcus Bell said. “That’s when I have my one-on-one time with God. I was listening to gospel music and he spoke to me. I felt the need right there.”
He called his wife at about 2 a.m., and a few hours later a donation drive began at Life Changing Ministries in Tupelo to help victims of the Oklahoma tornado.
“We networked on Facebook,” his wife, Kiesha Bell, said. “We put out flyers. It was word-of-mouth to families and friends.”
About 125 individuals dropped off food, water, clothes, grooming accessories, coloring books and more. The effort also received donations from some 30 churches, and volunteers donated cash to help the Bells cover fuel costs.
“He has driven a truck for 13 years. He just purchased his own truck in February,” Kiesha Bell said. “He wanted to do this because he could.”
Cooley Transportation donated the trailer. On Tuesday afternoon, Marcus Bell filled it with an estimated 45,000 pounds of supplies to help victims of the May 20 tornado that devastated Moore, Okla.
“This has been just a tremendous blessing,” he said. “People have been pouring in. Churches have been pouring in.”
The Bells came up with the name “Operation Help” for the Oklahoma drive, and the name will continue for Life Changing Ministries’ clothes and food pantry that serves area residents.
“This church is absolutely doing some great work and making a difference,” Mayor Jack Reed said. “That’s what Jesus tasked us to do.”
Marcus Bell planned to leave the church at midnight today to make the 10-hour drive to Norman, Okla., where he’ll deliver the items to the Red Cross.