Sometimes it takes not only the American Red Cross to help people, but also working with its partners to ensure that needed assistance is provided in a timely manner.
Recently tornadoes ripped through parts of Columbus, MS leaving many without power and supplies. People were in need of food and The Salvation Army in Columbus was ready to deliver it, but the food was at the Mississippi Food Network warehouse in Jackson, MS. The Salvation Army needed a way to bridge the 130-mile gap between the two locations.
Like often happens, the eventual solution started with one person telling another about the problem. In this case, Salvation Army Maj. Eric Roberts in Columbus reached out the Lowndes County Emergency Management Agency which in turn touched base with Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, the Red Cross and the Mississippi Food Network.
The Food Network had more than enough food to donate, but someone would have to transport it to Columbus. That’s where the Red Cross stepped up with the offer to use its volunteers and vehicles to move several tons of food from where it was to where it was needed.
“It’s good you could help out,” Roberts said to the Red Cross volunteer Earl Graham. “That’s the way things get done if everybody works together.”
At the Food Network warehouse, volunteers put together scores of boxes with 30 pounds of staples and workers at the 65,000 square foot warehouse brought the boxes to the loading dock where the Red Cross vehicles awaited.
Walker Satterwhite, the network’s executive director, watched as some of the boxes were being loaded, noting, “We’re glad we are able to work with our partners to bring help to those in need in Columbus.”
Cindy Lawrence, the Lowndes County EMA director, watched as a load of boxes was unloaded from a truck by Roberts and Graham. She said this is an example of what happens when people unite.
“There are no turf battles here. It’s about helping people and we’re here to support each other,” she said.