You can help victims of storm in many ways

Damaged trees and homes along Magnolia Street in Hattiesburg were not the worst shot the city took from the Jan. 21 tornado.
Damaged trees and homes along Magnolia Street in Hattiesburg were not the worst shot the city took from the Jan. 21 tornado. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com

Hattiesburg has been there before.

The Coast has been there before.

We know what we have to do: Come to the aid of our fellow Mississippians.

The Hattiesburg area has been hit by a tornado for the second time in less than four years.

The official toll from this storm, which roared across 31 miles in South Mississippi, is staggering.

Four people died. More than 1,100 homes were damaged or destroyed. In Forrest County, at least 771 families won’t be living in their homes for some time. There are 150 William Carey University students from foreign countries or faraway states who need shelter.

The state is helping. A federal government disaster declaration has been sought. Dozens are being sheltered. Cash benefits are being distributed.

But the Pine Belt also needs your help. You can send aid now.

The Gulfport Mayor’s Youth Council is gathering school supplies for Petal students. They also need uniforms: Any size khaki pants and any size red, white or gray polo shirts.

Donors can drop off items at Gulfport City Hall, 2309 15th St., until 5 p.m. Friday.

St. Peter’s by-the-Sea in Gulfport, just down 15th Street from City Hall, also is collecting uniforms for Petal until noon Sunday.

You can call the American Red Cross to donate at 1-800-Red-Cross (733-2767), text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation or visit www.redcross.org.

The United Way of South Mississippi is accepting donations at 210 W. Front St., Suite 400, Hattiesburg. If you send a check, put “tornado recovery” in the memo line.

And, to donate to the Salvation Army, go to salvationarmyalm.org.

Extra Table is providing food. To donate, go to www.feedms.com.

And, if you’re in Hattiesburg, you can stop by the Purple Parrot, Crescent City Grill, The Mahogany Bar or Branch to leave a cash donation, which will go to Extra Table.

We do not mean to infer this is the complete list of ways to donate. Many churches, civil groups, businesses and individuals are undoubtedly pitching in.

We should all remember the outpouring of support we received after Hurricane Katrina hit and we should do whatever we can to help the Pine Belt along the path to recovery.

The editorial represents the views of the Sun Herald editorial board. Opinions of columnists and cartoonists are their own.