Smithville storm victims offered $150,000 in aid

By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal

Even in the darkest of times, a little hope manages to break through.
For Smithville homeowners who saw their community all but leveled by Wednesday’s devastating tornado, that hope comes via an anonymous donor who has given $150,000 to help them.
Each eligible applicant will receive $1,000.
On Monday, Three Rivers Planning & Development District will take applications from Smithville residents identified by the Mississippi Emergency Management Association as “having their residence rendered inhabitable” by the tornado.
Three Rivers will be in Smithville on Monday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in front of the Piggly Wiggly.
“We plan to take those applications back Monday, process them that night and come back Tuesday to hand out the checks,” said Randy Kelley, executive director for TRPDD.
The fund is established at the CREATE Foundation and will be administered by Three Rivers.
Those eligible to receive the grants can use the money for any purpose.
Approval is subject to compliance with all eligibility requirements and guidelines for this grant program. Only one grant per household is available, and the grant application must be made by the head of the household.
While the money won’t cover everything, it’s a start, especially for those who lost everything.
“This is to help them meet their immediate needs, whatever they are,” Kelley said. “We have families who have no clothes for their children to wear to school, for example.”
Kelley said his office received a call Thursday from the donor, who wanted to know how best to get money quickly to the tornado victims.
“The generosity of the donor and the kindness shows what Mississippi and America are all about,” he said.