As February of 2017 became March and residents of Perry County were reeling from the shock of an F4 tornado,

United Way of Southeast Missouri (UWSEMO) was establishing an emergency fund to help them. Currently, almost

$50,000 has been donated to the fund in the week following the February 28th tornado

that took one life and countless homes in Perryville.


Donations have come from throughout Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois,

according to Elizabeth Shelton, Executive Director of United Way of Southeast Missouri.

“We and the people of Perryville have been so overwhelmed by the outpouring of help

and concern. Online donations began arriving as soon as we posted in our social media

Wednesday morning that we had established the fund and 100% of donations would go

to Perry County. Then our local media helped tremendously by reporting on it, and

checks flooded in. We got over $4,000 in checks just the first day!”

According to Shelton, the fund received a huge bonus when KSDK, the NBC affiliate in

St. Louis, contacted UWSEMO to see if they were interested in using their phone bank

for a phone-athon. The station was receiving calls from viewers wanting to help, and

KSDK had heard about United Way’s emergency fund for Perryville. Shelton said, “Of

course we dropped everything to make it happen!”

United Way staff and volunteers answered six phones set up in the main floor of the

station in downtown St. Louis, collecting $18,000 in just three hours. KSDK ran the


March 10, 2017

Contact: Elizabeth Shelton

O) 573-334-9634

C) 573-270-4556

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

number to call every half hour of their newscasts at 4:00, 5:00 and 6:00 and interviewed

Shelton about how the money will be distributed.

According to Shelton, “Our partner agencies that are trained in helping in emergencies

provided immediate assistance and are assessing need— First Call for Help, the

American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and other organizations. United Way also has

a student fund in the public schools in every county we serve, so these donations also

will help Perry County students.”

UWSEMO and other area nonprofits comprise a Long-Term Recovery Committee

(LTRC) of organizations committed to providing funds, personnel, expertise and/or

equipment in this type of situation. Many other nonprofits are receiving donations of

food, money, clothing, and household items for Perryville. Working with community

leaders, the LTRC is assessing ongoing, long-term needs and resources to determine

the best method of helping the community. Thus, there is no deadline for closing the

Perryville fund, which will remain open indefinitely.

Shelton explains, “Rebuilding a community is a long process. We are doing what United

Way does best—working with a collaborative network to bring resources to where they

are needed most. And the people of the Heartland are doing what they do best—helping

their neighbors. The response has been humbling and heartwarming. We are extremely

grateful and proud of the caring people in this community.”

People can contribute to the Perryville Emergency Fund by visiting; texting “Perryville” to 41444; calling the United Way

office at 573-334-9634 and donating over the phone, or mailing a check to United Way

of Southeast Missouri, Attn: Perryville, 430A Broadway Street, Cape Girardeau, MO

63701. “Perryville” should be written in the check memo.

Most Recent Stories

The Stars and Stripes Museum in Bloomfield, MO is hosting our 5th annual Liberty Days…


Based on Bram Stoker’s classic novel, “Dracula” will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. Oct.…

Southeast Missouri State University invites alumni and students to celebrate “We Are…

Southeast Missouri State University has been recognized among the top 100 best regional…

Southeast MissouriSouthern Illinois

Did we miss something? Do you have more…

Prepare for the Halloween season with “Sister’s Back to School Catechism: The Holy Ghost…

Venus Williams

U.S. tennis icon Venus Williams will speak about her successful career on…

From Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, Southeast Missouri State University will celebrate Hispanic…

Southeast Missouri State University observed 9/11 with a solemn flag ceremony on the…

Experience a weekend filled with hands-on history in Cape Girardeau with the docking of…

Image result for party with the animals semo fair

The SEMO District Fair in Arena Park is just around the corner and as the cooler…



Labor Day weekend is here! The beloved four day weekend and the dreaded end of summer…

The 2017 Eclipse has come and gone. Now what do you do with those prized solar glasses?

“Equine Therapy, also referred to as Horse Therapy, is a form of therapy that involves…



Eclipse Viewing Party at Kellers

Monday August 21st Noon-4pm

Kellers in the Isle…

Let Us Know

Click below to submit to us content regarding the local area.

Submit a Story!

Send us your event information and let us help you get the word out. You can also receive more information on advertising on our site!

Submit Your Event!

Want to see your business on our site in some way? Then click below!

Submit a Business!

News Archive

Powered by mod LCA