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UPDATED: How you can volunteer, donate to the tornado relief effort


Dispatch staff





· The United Way of Lowndes County said local volunteers and donations are needed to aid with disaster efforts in Mississippi. 


Specific items needed in the affected areas: Paper products, antiseptic spray, cereal, Pop Tarts, ramen noodles and other non-perishable food supplies, toothbrushes, toothpaste, baby food, canned baby formula (not powder)), baby cereal, water, drinks, canned goods with pop tops, hand sanitizer, diapers, plastic utensils, new clothing like blue jeans, T-shirts, socks and underwear (no used clothing), women''s feminine hygiene products, new blankets, soap, shampoo, new pillows, batteries, flashlights and candles. 


United Way of Lowndes County will begin collecting donated items Monday, May 2, and continue through Saturday, May 7, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the United Way office, 501 7th Street N. An 18-wheeler will be at the location, and vacant office space will also be used for storage. The collection dates may be extended. United Way is working with Cadence Bank to have a drop-off location at the bank at 3601 Bluecutt Road, with the same drop-off hours. 


Volunteers are also needed to work various shifts to help take in donations. 


Emily Williams, Project Coordinator for the United Way of Lowndes County Community Volunteer Center, is the contact person for collecting items and coordinating volunteers. Her email address is [email protected] and the Volunteer Center phone number is 327-0807. 




· The American Red Cross in Lowndes County needs people to help answer the influx of telephone calls, their biggest need right now. Interested volunteers may train to assess damage in Webster County and Smithville. Volunteers are also needed to unload trucks of supplies into local warehouses. To contact the Red Cross in Lowndes County, contact Pauline Redmond at 662-328-5710.  


To donate to the national Red Cross by cellphone, text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation. You can also donate online at, or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.  


To donate by mail, send checks to American Red Cross; P.O. Box 4002018; Des Moines, IA 50340. 


· Cooper''s Closet consignment sale has organized a tornado relief donation drop-off, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. today at the former Lia Fashions building, 1211 Highway 45 North in Columbus. Items accepted include nonperishable food items including baby formula and baby food; drinks such as water and Gatorade; toiletries and hygiene items including diapers and wipes; and emergency supplies such as flashlights and batteries. 






· Mississippi State''s Student Association is sponsoring a collection of toiletry supplies to support fellow students at the University of Alabama affected by tornadoes this week. SA President Rhett Hobart said he has been in contact with UA student leadership to determine how MSU students can assist with relief efforts. 


Hobart said specific needs include toilet paper, toothpaste and deodorant. Items may be dropped off at the Union Dawg House until 5 p.m. Monday. The Student Association will deliver the items Tuesday to the Tuscaloosa campus. 


Hobart also said any campus organizations interested in coordinating additional unified relief efforts with the SA may contact him at the SA office at 662-325-3917 or by email at [email protected] 


· Southwire, with the Salvation Army, is collecting supplies from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. from Monday, May 2, through Wednesday, May 4, in the Walmart parking lot, 1010 Highway 12 West in Starkville. Items being collected include paper goods, cleaning supplies, snack food items, new blankets, beverages, ready-to-eat, nonperishable food, and ice chests and coolers. For information, call 770-832-4729. 






· The Mississippi Disaster Recovery Fund is accepting donations. Donate either through the website,, or text "MS" to "27722" to give $10 to the Mississippi Disaster Recovery Fund.  


Donors also can send a check to the Mississippi Disaster Recovery Fund, c/o BankPlus; 4450 Old Canton Road, Suite 101; Jackson, MS, 39211; or donate at any BankPlus branch. 






· The Alabama Governor''s Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives steps in when other avenues have relief have been exhausted. Go to to give money or volunteer time. 


· United Way of West Alabama: 2720 Sixth St. No. 100, between Lurleen Wallace Boulevard and Capitol Park, 205-345-6640. The United Way could use donations of nonperishable food items, clothes, tarps, and feminine hygiene products. You can also make cash donations, all of which will stay local, by credit card at 


· St. Mark United Methodist Church: 1421 McFarland Blvd., Northport, Alabama, 205-339-5990. The church is currently serving as a shelter for the displaced, and you can send it nonperishable food and clothes. If you''re in the area, they could also use volunteers with medical training. 


· Salvation Army: The Salvation Army''s Emergency Disaster Services is providing food to the displaced. You can donate $10 to them by texting "GIVE" to 80888. To donate online, go to, and to give via phone, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY and say you''d like to designate your funds for the "April 2011 Tornado Outbreak."  


Send checks to Salvation Army Disaster Relief; P.O. Box 100339; Atlanta, GA 30384. 




Sources: Dispatch staff;; Good Action,




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