Relief groups seek support as they spread aid

By Galen Holley/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Relief organizations throughout Northeast Mississippi expended a lot of effort responding to this weekend’s storms, and they now need help replenishing their resources.
On Sunday personnel from the Salvation Army, the Red Cross of Northeast Mississippi and the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Team converged in Walnut to coordinate their efforts.
Workers fired up their mobile canteens in the parking lot of Harmony Baptist Church and started serving hundreds of meals. They also made forays into the hardest hit areas, like just north of Walnut, where hundreds were still without power Monday afternoon.
The Red Cross rotated in some 20 volunteers, cooking and trying to help those who found themselves in the dark and wading through flood damage. The Salvation Army dispatched its new emergency response vehicle and set to work delivering meals to people who were unable to get out.
The Southern Baptists dispatched a team and a trailer from Jackson. They brought mobile showers and power tools that they’ll start using to clear debris today.
Monday afternoon, Michelle Miles was a woman on a mission.
“We’re cooking spaghetti for utility workers and for folks who can’t cook at home,” said Miles, who directs the Salvation Army’s service center in Corinth. Her organization will likely wrap up its cooking efforts today, then look at providing clothing and furniture for those who need it.
After serving hundreds of meals itself, today the Red Cross will turn its efforts toward helping people get back on their feet.
“We’ll be dispensing cleanup kits, which include mops, buckets, gloves and other necessary items,” said Patty Tucker, who directs the Tupelo Red Cross.
Having also helped in the April 24 tornadoes, Tucker of the Red Cross and Miles of the Salvation Army both said they need money and volunteers badly.
“We need people just to answer the phones right now,” said Tucker. “Every little bit helps.”
The Rev. Brian Tatum, whose church has served as the base for the relief efforts, was inspired by the work.
“We’re just blessed to be in place where we can help,” said Tatum, some of whose church members sustained property damage.
Contact Galen Holley at 678-1510 or

How to give
– The Red Cross of Northeast Mississippi and The Salvation Army both need money and volunteeris.
– Send donations to the Red Cross at 4127 Westside Drive, Tupelo, MS, 38801 or for more information call 842-6101 or visit
– Send donations to the Salvation Army at 527 Carnation Street, Tupelo, MS, 38804 or for more information call 842-9222.

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