By NATHAN GREGORY
Mississippi State University’s Maroon Volunteer Center and Volunteer Starkville are each encouraging locals to volunteer to assist areas impacted by Hurricane Isaac through the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Services.
MSU program coordinator for student leadership Meggan Franks said the most organized way to have standby disaster volunteers sent where their donation of time can be maximized is by having multiple volunteer groups refer to MCVS.
“The great thing is we work with Volunteer Starkville … Volunteer Oxford and Ole Miss and they’re all doing the same thing. All four centers work together to direct people to the commission’s website to get better informed and have them placed where they know what their duties really are,” Franks said. “It’s hard to do a lot of training when you gets in a situation like this when we’ve had a hurricane on the Gulf Coast. Using this as a tool gives volunteers more direction. Instead of us sending out a large group of volunteers, what we have done is devote all efforts to their website so it can be a hub for their efforts.”
Jamey Matte, Volunteer Starkville Director, said the organization has a 200-volunteer base and she has reached out to them and provided information on how they can volunteer.
“On a large scale we’re communicating to our local volunteers that this is what they can do to help. We hope people of Starkville will take time to volunteer in this effort. I hope they would think of it in a way as we would hope people in other communities would come help us out if we had been affected by a disaster,” Matte said. “I really hope citizens will see this as a need and make it a priority in their spare time to help victims of Isaac in any way they can, whether it be money if they don’t have time or if they could actually go help the (American) Red Cross in their efforts.”
Volunteers can provide their services in areas of their choosing in Mississippi. Those interested in registering as standby disaster volunteers on the Gulf Coast can visit https://volunteer.truist.com/uw-sm/org/opp/10540388558.html  for more information. Those who wish to volunteer in other impacted areas of Mississippi north of the Gulf Coast can visit https://volunteer.truist.com/mcfvs/org/opp/10540374777.html  to find out more about how they can help. Medicals and health professionals wishing to use their skills to help victims of Isaac can register with Volunteers in Preparedness Registry at https://signupms.org/ .
For information on donating goods to affected areas, visit http://www.mcvs.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=413 .