North Mississippians gather donations for Tupelo storm victims - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

North Mississippians gather donations for Tupelo storm victims

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As storm victims in Tupelo begin to survey damage to their homes, people in North Mississippi are gathering necessities to send to their neighbors to the south. As storm victims in Tupelo begin to survey damage to their homes, people in North Mississippi are gathering necessities to send to their neighbors to the south.
Donations are already starting to trickle in. Donations are already starting to trickle in.
OLIVE BRANCH, MS -

(WMC) - As storm victims in Tupelo begin to survey damage to their homes, people in North Mississippi are gathering necessities to send to their neighbors to the south.

A grassroots donation campaign at the Olive Branch YMCA blossomed into a relief effort backed by local businesses, churches, and people.

Donations are already starting to come in. Collections will continue all weekend before a truck full of supplies leaves for Tupelo on Monday.

You can tell by the signs off the interstate, Tupelo is close to Olive Branch, only about 90 miles away. Many people have friends or family affected by Monday's twisters.

"These are my friends, they're my customers, they're my neighbors, what can we do to help them out?" said Mike Beamon. "Other friends down there, they've lost their total. Their business is gone, I mean it's rubble now. It's flattened."

Beamon brought his truck to the Olive Branch YMCA.

Now the community is going to fill it. Donations are already starting to trickle in.

"Folks have brought in bottled water, diapers, non-perishable food goods, toiletry items," said Michael Bellipanni, YMCA.

Social media is fueling the relief effort. The police department posted it to its 15,000 followers on Facebook. Even churches like Life Fellowship are getting the word out.

"We have several thousand people on an email list, and we're able to send that out," said Michael Baier, Life Fellowship.

Governor Phil Bryant asked the federal emergency management agency for help for victims. While he waits for a response, Beamon hopes gym-goers help by seeing the YMCA as a place to lose pounds from their waistline and their pantry.

You can drop off donations through Sunday. Items will go to a church in Tupelo and then given to people in need. There are also plenty of ways to help in the Memphis area, click here to learn more: http://eastmemphismoms.com/charity/helping-tornado-victims/.   

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