Severe Weather

How to Help Victims of the Mississippi Tornadoes

A list of on-the-ground relief efforts for those affected by tornadoes in the Magnolia State

photo: Julio Cortez/Associated Press

A view of the destruction in Rolling Fork, Mississippi.

Powerful tornadoes tore through small towns in Mississippi and North Alabama overnight on Friday, March 24, decimating homes and leaving many without drinking water, cell service, or power. At least twenty-six people have died, with search-and-rescue missions still underway. Near or far, here are some ways to help those in need:

Mercy Chefs

This nonprofit disaster and humanitarian relief organization is honing in on the small town of Rolling Fork, Mississippi, where, according to their mayor, “the city is gone.” Make a donation or join the effort directly to provide meals for victims, first responders, and volunteers.

Volunteer Mississippi 

This organization’s Facebook page maintains up-to-date information on local donation sites. Other timely resources include the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. Further, the Mississippi cities of Greenville, Olive Branch, and Gluckstadt have set up donation hubs for necessities such as toiletries, cleanup supplies, and most urgently, water. 

Joyce Meyer Ministries

Missouri-based Christian nonprofit Joyce Meyer Ministries works with local relief organizations to help communities affected by natural disasters, including this one. Donate here.

Samaritan’s Purse

Based in North Carolina, Samaritan’s Purse mobilizes thousands of volunteers to aid victims of natural disasters. They are asking for immediate volunteers and donations for teams that will soon dispatch in Rolling Fork and Amory.

United Way of Southeast Louisiana 

This Louisiana-based organization has nearly a century of experience working with underprivileged communities. Donate to their Mississippi Tornado Relief Fund, which will support long-term and immediate aid efforts.

Eight Days of Hope

Eight Days of Hope started in 2005 to help rebuild homes in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Their latest relief effort is a Rapid Response Ministry set to deploy in the devastated city of Amory from March 28 through April 8. Find more information on volunteering here.

GoFundMes for the Amory Humane Society & Community and the South Delta Animal Rescue Center

The South Delta Animal Rescue Center, which helps stray animals in Sharkey and Issaquena counties, was destroyed by Friday’s storm and is in need of donations. Amory’s beloved Humane Society was also not excluded from the damage, leaving many animals displaced. Donated funds will also contribute to community cleanup and restoration. 

Operation BBQ Relief

Since their 2011 initiation in response to a Missouri tornado, Operation BBQ Relief has provided more than 10 million warm, hearty meals to communities left hungry. Now, their disaster response team is heading to Mississippi. Donate, volunteer, and learn more about their year-round efforts to fight hunger here.

To learn more about a charity before donating, consult Charity Navigator.