My heart is heavy right now. My dad (who lives in Kansas City, Missouri) traveled to Joplin, MO today to volunteer to aid in the cleanup from the massive tornado that demolished the city last month. It was the deadliest tornado to hit the U.S. since 1953.
Only organized church groups and military groups are allowed into Joplin right now, and his church was able to get the ‘OK’ to go and help.
My dad just sent me a text from Joplin that said the following: “U can’t help but sob. It is like Germany WWII. Total destruction.”
I know I don’t normally write about topics like this, but having lived in Missouri for 10 years of my life, it hits close to home, both literally and figuratively.
I wanted to express my deep sorrow for the lives that were lost, the homes that were torn apart and the town that is no longer standing. Even though it is no longer a prominent news story, the people from still need our prayers and our help. First and foremost, your prayers are most needed. And if you feel moved to contribute financially, you can do so by visiting the following sites:
The Community Foundation of Kansas City has created two funds to pool donations, which you can make donations to online – the Joplin Missouri Disaster Relief Fund and the Reading Kansas Disaster Relief Fund. Community Foundation staff will perform the due diligence to ensure that grants from both funds are awarded to organizations addressing the immediate needs of the victims of the tornadoes, such as providing food, shelter and medical care/supplies. If you would like to donate with your credit card, please call 816-842-7444.
And lastly, I wanted to express my gratitude to my dad for contributing his time and energy to serve the people of Joplin. Dad, even with all of the personal hardship you’ve faced over the past few years, I’m so glad you are selflessly serving and inspiring others to do the same. Thank you to everyone else who is serving Joplin, as well.
Lamar, Mo., residents Aaron Finney, foreground, Kieran Hanley, right, and Trevor Hobbs, left, help Missouri State Rep. Mike Kelley (126th District) move a porch into a debris pile, June 8, 2011, in Joplin, Mo. (AP)