Disaster relief effort reminders for MSU students, faculty, staff, community members

MSU students, faculty, staff, and local community members:     
Thank you for your willingness to help those that have been affected by recent tornadoes. 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:​​
    • In Lowndes County, MS: Lowndes County United Way Volunteer Center by telephone at 662-370-8600, 662-370-8602 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
    • In Lee County, AL: A Volunteer Reception Center has been established at Smiths Station Baptist Church, 2460 Lee Road 430, Smiths Station, AL. The hours of operation are from 8 am until 5 pm. All volunteers must report to this designated area for dispatch to areas in need. For more information on volunteering, please visit:
  • 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. If you want to donate directly, please contact:
    • In Lowndes County: The Lowndes County United Way at 662-328-0943.
    • In Lee County: Please visit the Lee County EMA for donation information at

If you would like to support MSU students who have been affected by the recent 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 recent tornadoes. You can donate and view more information at
For more information and additional ways to help those affected, contact the Lowndes County United Way Volunteer Center at the contact information listed above, Lee County Emergency Management at or 334-749-8161, the Mississippi State University Extension Website at, 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.