See below the latest instalment from the NABF Disaster Relief Network:
DISASTER RELIEF: Mississippi Tornadoes
The NABF Disaster Relief Network seeks to share the good work in Disaster Relief that happens within our member groups. Thank you for being a part of that network.
Here’s what’s been happening:
Even as tornadoes in Florida hit the news, we share with you about the damage done in several communities in Mississippi.
On March 25, 2023 a series of cyclical tornadoes marked a 100+ mile path of destruction through Mississippi. The tornadoes ripped through the Mississippi communities of Rolling Fork, Silver City, Tchula, Winona and Amory, and pushed into northwestern Alabama.
Amory, in northwest Mississippi, was particularly badly hit. There residents continue to clean up and repair their homes after the tornado downed power lines, uprooted trees and shredded buildings in its wake.
“All the residential buildings in the town have been searched and found clear,” says Amory Assistant Police Chief Nicholaus Weaver said. “Now it’s about the cleanup — getting to the roads to make sure they’re open. It’s going to be a long process. Power lines are down on almost every street and most of them are intertwined with the trees.”
Few buildings remained unscathed, with some being completely demolished, and many requiring extensive repairs from falling tree limbs or entire trees being ripped from the ground and thrown into buildings.
There have not been any fatalities inside the Amory town limits, though there were injuries. The town is also operating without clean drinking water, due to a “direct hit,” to Amory’s water treatment plant. Truck beds full of bottled water from community members were moved to warehouses by first responders to be distributed to residents.
Stories from within the NABF
NABF member denomination National Baptist Convention of America Inc. (NBCA) under the leadership of Dr. Samuel Tolbert sent an NBCA Home Missions Board feeding team from Dallas, TX to the St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in Amory. They served approximately 600 meals between April 2-4, 2023.
In partnership with Lott Carey and the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky, I joined with volunteers from the New Mt. Calvary Baptist Church of Houston Texas, and from Marsalis Avenue Baptist Church of Dallas to participated in this Christian expression of service. Members of the American Red Cross were serving daily with us.
We visited the community and spoke with residents and some of the area church leaders. Schools were heavily damaged, and electricity was being restored in the area while we were there. Some have lost their homes and all property while others have had minor damage and are able to stay in their homes but have no electricity.
How You Can Help:
There are a number of ways to help the Mississippi tornado and other tornado victims. Join us in responding to the unexpected devastation in Mississippi, especially in the hardest-hit areas of Mississippi in Sharkey, Humphreys, Carroll and Monroe counties. This is an immediate need for families who have experienced significant loss.
NABF partners like the Lott Carey and NBCA are on the ground providing much needed timely service to disaster victims. Donations can be made to Lott Carey via their website. Donations for the NBCA Home Mission Society can be sent via mail to 2723 Marsalis Ave, Dallas TX 75216. To volunteer with relief efforts, connect with them directly. Call the NABF DR Coordinator at 1-888-615-6223 or get in touch via email: email@example.com to learn more about other opportunities.
Here are a few other ways to offer your support:
- A financial donation is preferred as it can be spent on what is needed most at that particular moment. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency says monetary donations can be sent to the Community Foundation of Washington County at P.O. Box 5910, Greenville, Mississippi, 39704.
- Volunteer efforts are being coordinated by the Mississippi Commission of Volunteer Services. They are asking that people not “self deploy,” but instead check the Volunteer Mississippi website for more information and opportunities to physically help.
- Donate via the American Red Cross or other reputable organizations via their websites. The Red Cross has a portal here where people can donate specifically to relief efforts for the southern storms and tornadoes. Donations can also be made by calling 1-800-HELP-NOW.
- The United Way of Southeast Louisiana has set up a fund for Mississippi tornado victims. Donations can be sent online here, and all proceeds support immediate relief efforts and long-term rebuilding.
- Locally, donations can be dropped off at several locations in Mississippi. Items being asked for include bottled water, canned goods and paper supplies. Drop-off sites are: Rolling Fork National Guard/Civic Center; the Old Armory at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds; City of Olive Branch Fleet Services; Amory Regional Museum; and Crossway Church in Vicksburg.
Before making a donation, check out this guidance from the Better Business Bureau on the best ways to safely give after a disaster.
pray for the many victims that have lost homes, cars, and possessions
Pray for town and community leaders as they work to remove downed trees and damaged buildings and begin repairs to water storage, power lines and other infrastructure
pray for the first responders and medical staff involved
pray for the willing hearts and hands that are coming to give relief in this disaster
The NABF Disaster Relief Network seeks to share the good work of responding disasters that happens within our networks. Please consider donating to the work of the NABF in communicating and seeking to facilitating collaboration among these important disaster relief efforts across our continent using the link/button below to donate by credit card or Zelle.
We are grateful for your partnership in this important disaster relief work.Donate to NABF Disaster Relief Coordination
Thank you, and may God bless you,
James R. Barbour
Disaster Relief Coordinator
North American Baptist Fellowship
Toll Free: 1-888-615-6223
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