April 19, 2016


When people are facing a difficult or crisis situation, often all they need is a caring, listening ear to help them through their troubles, even if it is over the telephone.

That is when the volunteers at Contact Helpline are able to make an impact.

One of the 15 charitable agencies receiving funding from the United Way of North Central Mississippi, Contact Helpline is a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week telephone line which provides information/referral services and crisis counseling across Oktibbeha, Lowndes, Clay, Noxubee, Choctaw, Winston, Webster and Monroe counties. Contact’s offices are based in Columbus.

In addition to crisis counseling and referral calls, Contact staff members make hundreds of reassurance calls to elderly and shut-in clients across the service area and work to help them meet needs that arise or get access to resources that meet those needs, said Katrina Sunivelle, Contact’s project coordinator.

At least one operator is on duty at all times of the day or night. Volunteer ope...

April 19, 2016


Its volunteers are known around the state, nation and world for the help they provide in the aftermath of disasters great and small and for the training they provide to help people be ready in an emergency situations.

The work of the American Red Cross is almost non-stop year-round, and the leaders of the North Mississippi Chapter know this firsthand.

“Red Cross will be there in a disaster. This means the most locally when we help that family who has lost everything in a house fire. A house fire is a disaster for that family,” said Patty Tucker, executive director of the Northeast Mississippi Chapter.

“A fire doesn’t get the publicity that a tornado might get. Because of the United Way dollars we receive, we are able to help that family with immediate needs. Having somewhere to stay is an immediate need,” Tucker said.

Headquartered in Tupelo with satellite offices in Starkville, Columbus and New Albany, the Red Cross’ Northeast Mississippi Chapter serves a 16-county area, including Oktibb...

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