Coast starts collecting money, relief supplies for tornado victims

D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - Collections of supplies and money for the tornado victims in Mississippi and Alabama are underway here on the coast. Those organizing the relief missions say they have little doubt our community will be generous.

North Bay Civitan Club members spent Friday afternoon making posters to let the community know about an upcoming collection of toiletries, baby items, non-perishable food and cash for Tuscaloosa tornado victims.

"We're definitely hopeful that the South Mississippi community is going to come together and donate a lot of items,"said Keith Wilson of the North Bay Civitan Club. "It's very important that we do this and pay it forward to other communities that are in need right now. You know a lot of people came and helped during Hurricane Katrina with everybody on the coast."

The Smoothie King in Biloxi agreed to put out a donation box for the Civitans, which is something the manager says the business has never done before.

"We just want to do something that we know hands-on we can help with," Manager Jessica Walters said. "Our customers and staff are going to all pitch in. Our goal is to get it filled up by the end of the week."

Cases of bottled water turned up at the doorstep of St. Paul United Methodist Church in Ocean Springs Friday. The donations started pouring in just hours after the pastor sent an email asking his congregation to help the people of Smithville.

"People here have been so blessed by others coming to be with us in our time of need," said Rev. Chris Cumbest. "I think we understand fully the importance of responding as quickly as we can. So it really doesn't surprise me that people are responding as quickly, cause that's who this community is."

Rev. Cumbest said while donations of food and water are wonderful, tornado victims need much more. They need our prayers and they need to know we won't forget about them.

The North Bay Civitan Club will hold its collecting drive on Saturday at the Promenade in D'Iberville from noon until 4pm. Members ask you bring items like toiletries and towels, but not clothes.

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