Smithville tornado survivors to aid Moore, Okla., victims

By Adam Ganucheau/NEMS Daily Journal

SMITHVILLE – A group of volunteers from Smithville Baptist Church and a Smithville-based relief trailer full of supplies will travel Wednesday to Moore, Okla., to provide for the victims of the recent EF-5 tornado.
A group of 25 volunteers from Smithville Baptist Church will bus 10 hours from Smithville to Moore.
“The main reason we are doing this is to minister to the people of Moore,” Smithville Baptist Church Pastor Wes White said. “I think we will offer a unique perspective for some people there since many of the people in the group have experienced the same exact thing they have.”
A deadly EF-5 tornado on April 27, 2011 devastated Smithville.
White said the group is looking forward to listening and encouraging victims of the storm, and will provide gift baskets to those in need.
A trailer full of supplies collected over the past two weeks will follow the bus to Moore. Smithville School Principal Chad O’Brian organized the supply project, which has collected items like clothes, diapers, non-perishable food items and gift cards.
“We certainly have been in their shoes,” O’Brian said. “We know from experience their needs aren’t going away. We know that anything you don’t have to go to the store to buy is a blessing because we’ve been there and done that.”
The project initially began through O’Brian’s church, Fairview Baptist Church in Itawamba County, but citizens from Smithville and beyond – even as far as Columbus – have donated supplies.
O’Brian said that he will drop the supplies off at the elementary school in Moore.
“The school is where my heart is since I’m the principal at Smithville School,” he said. “They will then have the ability to disperse everything however they want to.”
O’Brian said that people interested in donating additional supplies can contact him at Smithville School.
adam.ganucheau@journalinc.com