Hundreds of people affirmed that commitment May 28, when a fundraiser for victims topped its $50,000 goal - and organizers immediately extended the goal to $100,000.
To date, more than $60,000 has been raised in the CREATE Foundation effort, which is commendable and encouraging but far short of the $100,000 goal.
The damages and deaths in the April 27 storms that ravaged parts of Northeast Mississippi were part of the largest tornado outbreak - more than 800 - since the early 1950s. The cumulative death toll, more than 350, was the largest since the Depression years of the 1930s.
Tupelo was among the small cities devastated by an April 5, 1936, storm that would have been measured as an EF-5 - the strongest category - as was the Smithville twister.
An enormous outpouring of aid from organizations, churches, individuals and businesses helped Tupelo recover and rebuild.
The same spirit of unity, empathy, generosity, and the extension of helping hands is necessary for Smithville and in the other parts of Monroe and Chickasaw County hardest hit in Mississippi on April 27.
Gov. Haley Barbour was among the earliest of the high-ranking officials to arrive, and he was stunned.
"To come into Smithville and see the devastation here, the utter obliteration that's come to this town, is moving, eye-opening," Barbour said at a press conference in front of the destroyed Smithville Town Hall.
While a large federal response is required, added to aid provided by the state, the participation of regional friends and neighbors arguably is the most calming assistance because in our closely connected region it's like families standing with one another.
In some cases, no amount of recovery will erase the memory of the 3:44 p.m. mega-storm with winds of 205 mph, but participating in the recovery with a donation is healing to donors, too.
The storm, the first EF-5 tornado to strike Mississippi since 1966, left chaos. The removal of debris has begun at least to restore order, but donations are essential in restoring material possessions blown who knows where, or obliterated.
CREATE President Mike Clayborne said the foundation's board would decide at its July 13 meeting what to do about raising the rest of the money.
The week remaining before the board meeting provides ample time for people in the region to consider digging deeply and generously.
Call CREATE, (662) 844-8989, for information.