MSU students, faculty, staff and local community members:
Thank you for your willingness to help those who have been affected by Hurricane Ian. When a disaster happens, it can take months and even years for communities to rebuild. To make the most of your efforts to help, consider these tips for donating and volunteering:
Be patient and be safe. Do not self-deploy into a disaster area. We know you want to help in any way possible, but you must wait until first responders announce that the affected area is safe to enter and that volunteer opportunities have been identified.
Sign up before you show up to volunteer. If you can volunteer, make sure to find an organization active in disaster recovery and sign up directly with them. Capacity is stretched very thin during disasters, and you need to make sure that you can be utilized. You can view a list of organizations accepting volunteers in times of disaster on the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster website (NVOAD) at https://www.nvoad.org.
- To volunteer locally with the Oktibbeha-Starkville Emergency Response Volunteer Service (OSERVS), please contact Kayla M. Gilmore at 662-384-2200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up. OSERVS welcomes volunteers of all ages to support its work. Whether helping with a fundraising event or pitching in with a disaster relief effort, there is a place for anyone interested in volunteering.
Donate cash. What most communities need is money, not things. A cash donation to a recognized national nonprofit or a disaster relief organization is the most effective donation you can make because it offers the most flexibility in getting the most-needed resources. If you donate goods, organizations will have to spend time, money and volunteer power to sort and store donations. This can be problematic, especially when storage facilities are sometimes being used as shelters. For a list of major nonprofits active in disaster relief, visit the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster's website at https://www.nvoad.org. The Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office also is a resource for information on giving to charities. View more information at Check Your Charity.pdf (ms.gov).
If you would like to support MSU students who have been affected by the recent hurricane, consider making a donation to the MSU Student Relief Fund. The MSU Student Relief Fund is built with private gifts and is designed to help those members of the student body affected with day-to-day crises or displaced by catastrophic disasters. You can donate and view more information at www.msufoundation.com/studentrelief.
For those who have been affected by a recent disaster, MSU Extension has information on disaster cleanup and repairs at http://extension.msstate.edu/community/disaster-response.
If you are a student at MSU and need assistance, contact the Dean of Students' office at 662-325-3611 or email@example.com. For more about the university’s natural disaster relief efforts, visit the Maroon Volunteer Center at https://www.mvc.msstate.edu/blog/weather-relief-efforts.