Locals taking donations for flood victims

Published 10:55 am Friday, August 19, 2016

Vicksburg is coming together to give what they can to the people of Louisiana and South Mississippi who are dealing with the devastating floods brought on from heavy rains the area experienced late last week.

Daniel Wilkes has helped create a network of friends who have been working to gather donations from a number of different local businesses including Ergon Marine, Chick-fil-A, The Gumbo Pot, Toney’s Restaurant, Goldie’s Express and Depot Automotive in Utica to name a few.

Wilkes left Thursday morning for Wiggins where he met friend Lee Cooley to sort through the donations before leaving for the Baton Rouge area of Louisiana for the weekend.

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“It’s basically a co-op with me and Lee Cooley. (We) coordinated it between Vicksburg and Wiggins, Miss. We don’t know if we’re going to have enough room to haul everything. The response has been overwhelming,” Wilkes said.

So far $400 has been spent on groceries from a wholesaler in Hattiesburg. Cooley has a military truck they will use to transport the items.

“We can haul a lot of stuff and it can allow us to drive through several feet of water,” Wilkes said.  He plans to do a lot of cooking while there.

Wilkes said he has been in contact with the Red Cross and other authorities to coordinate the donation drop-off.

“This might not be my only trip,” he said.

He was inspired to help gather donations because so many people in Vicksburg have family in the flooded areas who have said food is scarce in stores.

“This is just a opportunity to do good. A lot of people are in need,” Wilkes said.

To donate through paypal.com, use the email address daniel.w.wilkes@gmail.com.

The United Way of West Central Mississippi is partnering with St. Landry-Evangeline United Way and United Way of South Mississippi to serve those who are suffering from the flood tragedy in South Louisiana and South Mississippi.

The United Way of West Central Mississippi will pick up items from local organizations, churches and schools Thursday, Aug. 25 and Friday, Aug. 26 and will make a trip to Louisiana Saturday, August 27.

St. Landry-Evangeline United Way needs school supplies, cleaning supplies, toiletries, paper products and new men’s and women’s underwear. To schedule a pickup, contact Kami May at 601-636-1733. To make a one time monetary donation, visit unitedwaysm.org/content/disaster-relief-fund.

Churches are also gathering donations from the community.

Bovina Baptist Church is coordinating a trip to a church outside of Baton Rouge Monday and will be accepting donations at Bovina Baptist, 5293 U.S. Highway 80, until Sunday. The office will be open Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and during regular church services Sunday.

The church will accept bottled water; baby care items like diapers, wipes and bottles; toiletries like toothpaste, toilet paper, toothbrushes and deodorant; non-perishable food items; cleaning supplies like masks, rubber gloves, sponges, paper towels and garbage bags; Gatorade powder; and work gloves. No clothing donations will be accepted.

Pastor Chas Rowland said after speaking with missionaries in Louisiana, they informed him of the needs in the area, and he then coordinated his church’s donation effort through the Louisiana Baptist Convention Disaster Relief Team. The items will mostly help the people of Denham Springs.

“I just think it’s important for the church to be the arms and feet of Jesus to go and minister to people’s needs, to give them hope. When you give people hope physically it allows us to be able to point people to eternal hope that is in Jesus Christ. Bottom line is we want to love people like Jesus loves people,” Rowland said.

Some of the other churches taking donations are:

• New Mount Elem M.B. Church, 3014 Wisconsin Ave., will take donations of nonperishable items for flood families of the South Mississippi and Louisiana areas. Items can be dropped off Friday from noon until 5 p.m. The items will be delivered Saturday. For more information, call Leonard Walker 601-218-0202.

• Gospel Temple M.B. Church is collecting items for the flood victims in Mississippi. All items collected will be taken to those in or around Wilkerson and Pike Counties and the cities of Gloster, Centerville, Woodville, as well as the shelters in or around Adams County. They are collecting nonperishable foods, water, toiletries, personal hygiene products, baby supplies, school supplies, paper products, such as tissue, paper towels, paper plates, towels, new underwear, new sleepwear and cleaning supplies. Items can be dropped off at the church fellowship hall, 1612 Lane St., this Friday through Friday, Aug. 26, between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., except on Sunday. All items collected will be taken to flood victims Saturday, Aug. 27.