HEART Fund Granted to Aid Hattiesburg Tornado Victims

In the aftermath of storms that swept through the southeastern United States Jan. 21-22, national Woman’s Missionary Union and the WMU Foundation have awarded a $5,000 grant from the HEART (Humanitarian Emergency Aid for Rebuilding Tomorrow) Fund to assist international students and the children of missionaries (MKs) attending William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Miss.

Cindy Townsend spent time with a few of the MKs and international students who will receive assistance through the HEART Fund grant.

Cindy Townsend spent time with a few of the MKs and international students who will receive assistance through the HEART Fund grant.

“My first thought after witnessing the vast destruction in my community was that the HEART Fund was there for just such a crisis as this, “said Linda Donnell, WMU Foundation board member and Mississippi regional coordinator for Christian Women’s Job Corps/Christian Men’s Job Corps, a ministry of WMU.

The tornado touched down in Hattiesburg on the morning of Jan. 21, killing at least 4 people. The violent storm crossed several counties including Harrison County where William Carey University is located.

Donnell said she was particularly concerned for the international students and MKs attending William Carey University who are so far from home.

“I am hoping that attention can be directed towards their needs,” Donnell said.

The HEART Fund grant will be used to purchase gift cards for each of the 30 MKs as well as the international students affected by the storms.

“This grant will have a huge impact on their lives,” said Dr. Cindy Townsend, executive director of Mississippi WMU and member of the WMU Foundation Board of Trustees.

Linda Cooper, national WMU president, stated, “My prayer is that the lives of those affected will see the love of Jesus in our grant, for He is the source of our every need.”

In the midst of the destruction, Donnell hopes the victims will not get discouraged.

“I pray that they will not lose hope for a better tomorrow,” she said.

The WMU Foundation is accepting donations to the HEART Fund for disaster relief online or by mail to WMU Foundation HEART Fund, 100 Missionary Ridge, Birmingham, AL 35242.