Natural Disaster Relief Efforts

Natural Disaster Relief Efforts

Dear Bulldog family,

Thank you for trying to help those that have been affected by the recent natural disasters. 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. If you can volunteer, make sure to find an organization active in disaster recovery and sign up directly with them. Capacity is stretched very thin during disasters, and you need to make sure that you can be utilized. You can view a list of organizations accepting volunteers in times of disaster on the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster website (NVOAD) at Current Members | VOAD (
    • To volunteer locally with the Oktibbeha-Starkville Emergency Response Volunteer Service (OSERVS), please contact  Kayla M. Gilmore at 662-384-2200 or email to sign up. OSERVS welcomes volunteers of all ages to support its work. Whether helping with a fundraising event or pitching in with a disaster relief effort, there is a place for anyone interested in volunteering.
  • 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 an 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. This can be problematic, especially when storage facilities are sometimes being used as shelters. For a list of major non-profits active in disaster relief, visit this list on the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster's website Current Members | VOAD ( to find an agency and donate. The Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office also is a resource for information on giving to charities. View more information at Check Your Charity.pdf (
  • If you would like to support MSU students that have been affected by recent disasters, you can consider making a donation to the MSU Student Relief Fund. The MSU student relief 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 most recent hurricanes. You can donate and view more information at Mississippi State University Development and Alumni - MSU Student Relief Fund (

For those that have been affected by a recent disaster, MSU Extension has information on disaster cleanup and repairs on their website at Disaster Response | Mississippi State University Extension Service (

For more information and additional ways to help those affected, visit the Federal Emergency Management Website (FEMA) at |