$2 million dollars invested in the community through R3SM and relief efforts

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - January 2017, thousands of homes were destroyed by an EF-3 tornado that ripped through Lamar, Perry and Forrest counties, leaving many people without anything at all.

“You lose your clothes, you lose your photos, you lose whatever resources you have in your home and you have to start over all again,” said R3SM Chief Operations Officer, Mavis Creagh.

R3SM, a non-profit recovery organization and local partners stepped up to the plate for dozens of families to assist for long term recovery.

“There’s a lot of different partners that have come together to recover the Pinebelt. It’s a lot of different facets that have to come together for the funding arm of it. The community has really stepped up and raised a lot of money,”

More than 11 churches, foundations and national non-profits raised nearly $1.1 million to fund recovery efforts and 1,200 volunteers gave more than 3,200 hours of service.

“That’s really a testament to the great community that we have. We have local volunteers, local churches and we’ve had volunteers as far away as Canada…some of the teams that came from out of state had such a good experience working here, that they’ve came more than one time within a year. They’ve already planned on coming back again,”

She shared that words can’t describe the valuable impact donations and volunteerism has on the pine belt.

“When you total that up as far as the volunteer labor that has been put in, in this last year and also the amount for the materials – that’s close to 2 million dollars that have been put back into the community,"



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