SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — An EF-4 tornado wreaked havoc across small towns in the Mississippi delta last Friday and many non-profit organizations have already made their way down to the affected areas to help.

One of those organizations is the Convoy of Hope.

While Convoy has helped numerous communities around the world, Ethan Forhetz with the Convoy of Hope says they have learned over the years to be mindful of how they distribute supplies.

“What we don’t want to do is hurt the local economy by coming in and giving away too many supplies that stores need to sell,” said Forhetz.

Forhetz said when the economy starts to get back up and running again, then they will start to slowly ease out of the community they are helping.

Eric Gordon, the Convoy of Hope Senior Director for U.S. Disasters, says they had relief teams in Mississippi just 18 hours after the storm made landfall.

Gordon said the relief teams will distribute essential items like tarps, food, water, clothing and hygiene items. He added said that they will also help out with debris removal and helping folks in the area clear their properties.

I asked Gordon about the emotional toll of seeing the destruction that a natural disaster causes. He said he tells his team to embrace those emotions.

“Having empathy is the best thing we can have because it’s our presence that helps bring hope,” Gordon said. “Not just the supplies that we bring but knowing that someone cares about them.”