TORNADO RECOVERY: Donation site relocated to South Delta High School

Published 5:43 pm Monday, April 10, 2023

UPDATE: The distribution center will not open Tuesday as originally reported. Volunteers are working to relocate items and establish order at the new site. The site will open on Wednesday.

The donation/distribution center formerly located at the Sharkey-Issaquena Academy gymnasium has relocated to South Delta High School.

Located at 303 Parkway St. in Rolling Fork, the center will hopefully open this week. Volunteers are needed to help set up the center. Sharkey County Emergency Management Agency will post on Facebook when the center is ready to reopen.

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Leadership for the center has also changed hands, with Rise Disaster Relief and Recovery, a North Carolina-based nonprofit, overseeing operations. Cindy Love, a board member and director of the Rise Operation Center, will run the center.

Rise volunteers have been in Mississippi for the last two weeks, Love said, mainly assisting in recovery through the use of heavy equipment. However, Love said, she has organized many donation/distribution centers throughout her time with Rise and is more than ready to take on the challenge.

“What we need now are volunteers; we will sign them up and we will put them to work,” Love said. “We are moving from the SIA gym to South Delta. Everything right now is currently boxed up. And so what I need now is people to help get us organized again so that we can get back to making food boxes, making hygiene boxes, things like that.”

Love said Rise volunteers will work alongside local volunteers to package food boxes and hygiene boxes for those in need. The food boxes have items that are easy for individuals living in hotel rooms to use to create simple meals, and hygiene boxes have everything from personal cleansing items to feminine hygiene products.

The most in-demand items at the moment, she said, are laundry detergent, household cleaning supplies and canned foods with protein “like ravioli and soups.”

Items that are not needed at the moment are baby diapers and wipes, she added, as there is an abundance of those products.

Donations and distribution will resume Tuesday morning, Love said, adding that more information will be available to the public once leadership is fully transitioned and Rise has coordinated with officials on what days and hours of operation are possible for the center.