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Rob Westbrook

Rob Westbrook

Rob Westbrook

More Info for Smithville MS Tornado Relief

May 6, 2011, by Rob, category blog

Tornado Damage in Smithville, Mississippi

Grace Fellowship is one of the many churches providing relief to the victims of the April 27th tornado in Smithville, MS. Their Disaster Response Team is now looking to the long-term needs of the people of Smithville. They have a letter detailing the needs. I’m going to reproduce it below. Read it and get involved.

Dear Concerned Friends,

On April 27, in less than thirty seconds, the little town of Smithville, Mississippi, was almost completely obliterated by a tornado. Hundreds of families were left homeless. Churches, businesses – even the local police station – were completely wiped out by the EF-5 tornado. Casualties in Monroe County include at least 15 dead and 40 injured. Obviously, the people of Smithville need our help.

Grace Fellowship in nearby Hatley, Mississippi, has stepped up to answer the town’s cries for help. They have created a Relief Staging Center at their church building (about five miles from the disaster site) to support volunteer workers and help connect them with local, state, and federal relief efforts.

  • Facilitating communications for workers and providing information
  • Helping to coordinate housing and meals for volunteers
  • Providing hook-ups for RVs and trailers and camping space for tents
  • Offering bathroom and shower facilities
  • Providing drinking water
  • Giving spiritual and emotional support for volunteers

At this point you’re probably asking, “How can we help?” Here are four ways you can get involved:

Prayer: We believe that it is only through the power of God that we can effectively serve our community and properly support relief workers volunteering their time and efforts. Whatever else you can do, the most important way you can help is through your prayers.

Financial Support: Of course there will be a great economic need throughout our community. We can help connect you with those who are distributing funds. In addition, we expect to spend a significant amount of money just to provide support for volunteers. Our Staging Center budget includes the following expense categories:

  • Reception/hospitality
  • Equipment
  • Utilities
  • Construction/materials
  • Supplies
  • Fuel
  • Transportation
  • Food/drink
  • Insurance
  • Security
  • Communications/public relations
  • Medical/first aid
  • Waste removal/cleaning/janitorial

Material Support: We need supplies here at Grace Fellowship to fulfill our ministry. If you would like to send materials, please contact us for a list of needed items (662-257-1228). We can also put you in touch with relief agencies collecting items for disaster survivors.

Come work with us: We need skilled and unskilled labor here at our Staging Center and in the disaster zone itself. If you want to come individually or as part of a team, contact us (662-257-1228) for information about available projects and specific needs for skilled and unskilled workers.

Thanks for taking the time to read this letter and consider the tremendous needs that surround us here in Monroe County. As you respond to God’s call for service in our community, we stand ready to help you connect and meet those needs.

Thank you for your consideration,
Chip Harmon
Grace Fellowship Disaster Response Team


  1. Colleen Conger |

    Wow! What a wonderful letter from Chip. I would LOVE to add their information to our list of resources on both the Smithville, MS Tornado Recovery Facebook Page AND the website. Could you get a message to him to contact me via email at colleen @ helpsmithville.com (remove the spaces as I don’t want to get spammed to death by putting my email out on the internet.)
    Thank you so much,

  2. Rob |

    I’ll contact him, Colleen. However, I don’t think Chip will mind if you put this on your website. Grace Fellowship is trying to get this information out to as many people as possible and putting it on your website will definitely increase views.

    • Rob |

      Oh, and by the way, your Help Smithville website is fantastic! Thanks for all the hard work you’re putting into it! I’m sure many are finding great relief information there.

  3. Paige McCallum |

    Hello Rob, My name is Paige McCallum I came to Smithville on May 27th with a group to help. My Church Overflow would like to start helping more. We have some that are trained in disaster relief as i am myself, other experienced in building etc. We just need to get more information on what is needed, and what needs to be done and when. We where told on the 27th that soon there would be lots of help needed. We are ready to help and don’tmind doing whatever it takes to help rebuild. We meet some really awesome people up their. Paul and Amy Estis might have thought we done alot for them . No way ! We did do for them but the gave to us. I recieved such a blessing from them and others there. God Bless all of you up there. My address is Bookiesgrl@aol.com Phone 601-847-1028. Please let me know soon what needs to be done there and i’ll get my guys together and we’ll be up there ready to work… Thank you so much for your time. Paige McCallum

    • Rob |

      Hi, Paige! Thanks for all your help in Smithville. To find out about more opportunities to serve in Smithville, I recommend you check out Grace Fellowship Church’s website: About Grace Fellowship. There’s a phone number on the page to reach them.


So, what do you think ?


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