December 2015 Tornados Destroys Home of Local Leader

Marks, MS

Marks, MS

The home of one of our community’s key leaders at Mississippi Delta Council for Farmworker Opportunities, Inc. was completely destroyed by the tornado that touched down near Marks just days before Christmas.

Sam McCray is known by many in the Delta as the retired field office staffer for Congressman Bennie Thompson working mostly in Coahoma, Quitman, and Tunica counties. Born on a plantation in a shack in the middle of a cotton field just south of Lambert, MS, grew up in Marks, he attended segregated schools, registered black voters in the 1970s and became an activist, advocate, organizer, and trusted resource to people throughout the Delta. These days, he’s the community organizer who leads Mississippi Delta Council’s USDA-funded farmworkers’ farmers market and food hub work (part of which involves a build-out or partial renovation of the commercial warehouse across the train tracks from the Chamber). He also is a supporter and organizer of economic development efforts happening around local agriculture and the history of the Mule Train. He and his wife, Bernestine, are safe. I’m nto sure where they were when the twister hit. Their 3 children are grown and living elsewhere.

Just two days after I received from a mutual friend a photo of the remains of his house, Sam emailed me to remind me that our consulting team was due for a visit soon to continue our work from last year. What he wants is to get back to work, but what our team hopes we can do is help him and his wife of 32 years — and others in the region — to get back on their feet first.

If you would like to help, send a check payable to  MDCFWOI, which has tax-exempt charitable organization status and which is an anchor institution in the community, having managed Federal funding and job training and assistance programs for over 40 years. You may include a note or write on the check that you’d like the the gift to be designated for relief, recovery, and rebuilding after the December 2015 storms. Thank you.

Mail donations to Mississippi Delta Council Warehouse and Training Center
1536 DeSoto Ave., Clarksdale, MS. 38614.
Phone 662 627 1121

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