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Meggan Franks
Feb 26, 2019

Lowndes County tornado relief efforts

Feb 26, 2019 by Meggan Franks

MSU students, faculty, staff, and local community members:     
     
Thank you for your willingness to help those that have been affected by the recent tornadoes in Columbus. When a disaster happens, it can take months and even years for communities to rebuild. To make the most of your efforts to help, consider these tips for donating and volunteering:     
     
Be patient and be safe. Do not self-deploy into a disaster area. We know you want to help any way possible, but you must wait until first responders announce that the affected area is safe to enter and that volunteer opportunities have been identified.
  
Sign up before you show up to volunteer. Capacity is stretched very thin during disasters, and you need to make sure that you can be utilized. If you are wanting to volunteer, please contact the Lowndes County United Way Volunteer Center by telephone at 662-328-0943662-370-8600662-370-8602 or 662-370-8603, or in-person at 223 22nd St. N., Columbus, MS 39701. More information also is available at the United Way of Lowndes County Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/UnitedWayLowndesCounty/
  
Donate cash. What most communities need is money, not things. A cash donation to a recognized national non-profit or a disaster relief organization is the most effective donation you can make because it offers them the most flexibility in getting the most-needed resources. If you donate goods, organizations will have to spend time, money and volunteer power to sort and store donations. For more information on how to donate directly to the Columbus tornado relief efforts, contact the Lowndes County United Way at 662-328-0943.
     
If you would like to support MSU students who have been affected by the Columbus tornadoes, you can consider making a donation to the MSU Student Relief Fund. This fund is built with private gifts and is designed to help those members of the student body affected with day-to-day crises or displaced by catastrophic disasters such as the Columbus tornadoes. You can donate and view more information at http://www.msufoundation.com/studentrelief
     
For more information and additional ways to help those affected, contact the Lowndes County United Way Volunteer Center at the contact information listed above, or the Mississippi State University Extension Website at http://extension.msstate.edu/community/disaster-preparedness, or contact the Maroon Volunteer Center at 662-325-2150.  If you are a student at MSU and need assistance, please contact the Dean of Student's office at 662-325-3611.