Children of missionaries (MKs) and international students attending tornado-ravaged William Carey University in Mississippi are being assisted by a $5,000 HEART Fund grant from the national Woman's Missionary Union and the WMU Foundation.
The HEART (Humanitarian Emergency Aid for Rebuilding Tomorrow) grant will be used to purchase gift cards for each of the 30 MKs as well as international students affected by the Jan. 21st tornado's devastation at the university in Hattiesburg.
"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 killed at least four people as it crossed several counties, including Harrison County where the Baptist-affiliated William Carey University is located.
Donnell said she was particularly concerned for the MKs and international students who are so far from home.
"I am hoping that attention can be directed toward their needs," she said.
"This grant will have a huge impact on their lives," said Cindy Townsend, executive director of the Mississippi WMU and member of the WMU Foundation board of trustees.
National WMU President Linda Cooper said: "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 at wmufoundation.com or by mail to WMU Foundation HEART Fund, 100 Missionary Ridge, Birmingham, AL 35242.