Shelter donates to tornado ravaged area

Published 12:25 am Wednesday, April 28, 2010

NATCHEZ — Boxes filled with children’s clothing lined the halls of the Sunshine Shelter Tuesday, and will soon be delivered to tornado-ravaged Yazoo County.

The Sunshine Shelter, which caters to victims of child abuse and neglect, was scheduled to host a garage sale this weekend to raise money for summer activities. But once news of the tornado damage broke, Executive Director Matilda Stephens decided to make other plans.

“We deal with Yazoo County a pretty good bit, and we have kids who were placed in Yazoo County,” Stephens said. “We got in touch with the Department of Human Services (Tuesday morning) trying to assess the situation with foster kids, and there is a huge need for children’s clothing.”

The majority of the garage sale items happened to be children’s clothing, so Stephens began collecting cardboard boxes and packaging tape.

“We decided it would be a better thing to take the clothes to Yazoo County,” Stephens said. “You’ve got to help people when they need help.

“When you hear the stories coming out of Yazoo County, it just breaks your heart what people had to go through.”

Stephens said two vans will depart from the Sunshine Shelter at approximately 9 a.m. Friday, en route to Yazoo County. The shelter, 409 N. Union St., will accept donations of children’s clothing until 5 p.m. Thursday. The shelter will also accept toys and personal items such as toothbrushes and toothpaste.

Stephens said donors should write the size and gender of the clothing on the box before delivery.

“We want to make sure we get (the donations) into the hands of people who need them as soon as possible,” Stephens said.

Agencies across the state continue to accept donations for tornado relief efforts.

Donations can be made to The Salvation Army online at SalvationArmyALM.org or by phone at 1-800-SAL-ARMY.

The American Red Cross is accepting donations at its Web site, redcross.org. Donations may also be submitted to Adams County Chapter of the Red Cross office at 211 N. Union St.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is also accepting monetary, product and volunteer donations through the Web site aidmatrixnetwork.org.