Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Today my work colleagues and I got the opportunity to volunteer in Joplin, MO to help with their tornado relief efforts.

It has been 30 days since the devastating tornado hit Joplin.  Areas of the city are unrecognizable.  As we drove through town I snapped a couple of photos with my cell phone.
The pictures don't begin to tell the story.

Several different distribution centers have been set up in the city to aid those that need help.  We worked at a center today that was distributing food, toiletries, paper products, baby items and cleaning supplies. 
If you have ever wondered if the items you donate to relief efforts get to the people that need it, I assure you they do.

Pallets of food and supplies arrived from all over the U.S.
These items are carefully and thoughtfully organized so that people can "shop" for the items they need.
As volunteers we uncrated boxes, distributed items to the proper tents, restocked the tables and made sure that people knew it was OK to take all they needed.  
It was amazing to see families that lost most or all of their possessions worry about taking too much.  They wanted to make sure that there was enough for everyone.
I am very thankful to my company for giving me the opportunity to volunteer.  It was one of the most fulfilling days I've had in a long time.

Jane

    

35 comments:

  1. WOW...that is so cool that you were able to help and it's great to know that "help" really is there for them.
    Warmly,
    deb

    ReplyDelete
  2. This really is a post that everyone needs to see.
    How wonderful that you got to help and see the items really being donated given.
    I love how you tell us that they were meek in taking of the items to make sure others would have enough.
    I think I miss this the most about the midwest, the love and caring people share for one another.
    Thank you for this post tonight Jane.
    Amy

    ReplyDelete
  3. Jane, what a thoughtful, caring project for your company to sponsor. I know each of you were greatly appreciated. Thank you for sharing this story. ~ Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  4. A wonderful post Jane.<3

    After the news media disappears so many events are forgotten, and it seems many Americans suffer from tragedy overload; but we must always remember this is about people and suffering and great loss.
    thank you for the reminder.
    xx
    z

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have also been on the working end of a relief effort after Hurricane Andrew in Miami in 1994. After Hurricane Charley struck Punta Gorda in 2004 I saw the receiving end as I helped my Grandmother get supplies that couldn't be purchased nearby because of the destruction. It's eerie how each of those areas looked very similar to your photos. The outpouring of those willing to help and provide in times like those are the most heartwarming, and are what encourages me. Thanks for helping! Here's praying for a quiet hurricane season this year!

    ReplyDelete
  6. How wonderful that you got to do this. I know you are so happy to help....

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you for helping, Jane. I don't think any of us can really picture the enormity of the destruction until we see it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi! I came across your blog a week or so ago and marked it. You are so creative and I love, love everything that you come up. You're really talented. I didn't know until today, however, that you might live near me. I'm in Springfield and have been thinking, of course, about the tornado since that awful Sunday. We've given money and done things here and there, but I just couldn't connect it really, to actually "helping." I'm so glad you got to be there and I'm glad people aren't forgetting even though we've moved on to other news. Anyway, I enjoy your blog and I'll continue to check in and see what my neighbor? is up to...

    Hayley http://nestingnotions.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Jane,
    How nice of you to do this...I did this in Mississippi after Katrina and it does make you feel good to help people that are hurting so much.

    Blessings,
    Linda

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a sad sight. Thank goodness there are people like you there to help.

    ReplyDelete
  11. That would have been a wonderful thing to undertake all right Jane,and it is heartwarming to hear of people worrying about taking too much for their needs.Only last night I was watching a documentary on tv about hurrican Katrina.The devastation is unreal,we have been so lucky in that regard.Great post.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thank you, Jane, for volunteering in person at a much needed site. We sent money to aid the relief efforts, but it must feel really good to actually BE there to help out. I cannot even begin to imagine what the destruction looks like in real life. My heart goes out to those people affected by the tornadoes.

    Best,

    Kimberly

    ReplyDelete
  13. Your photos are shocking, such total devastation. It's great that you had the opportunity to help Jane, a day well spent:@)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I can't imagine what they are going through and how much they must appreciate all of the volunteer efforts. The pictures and stories remind me of the Jarrell tornado several years ago in Texas. The town was smaller than Joplin but completely wiped off the map. Your pictures look like theirs. The town did rebuild thanks to volunteers like you and Jarrell is back on the map.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Bless you and your company for doing this. The people of Joplin are so gracious about asking if they are taking too much.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh my. Saying a prayer now.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I admire you for taking the time to do that.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am sure that made you feel so good to help out. Those poor people having to go through this.

    ReplyDelete
  19. It sure does boggle the mind to see it in person! I returned yesterday to shop and drove my son through the worst areas and it still takes my breath away. Our church has been sending teams over to help and it feels like chipping at an iceberg with a toothpick! Thanks for reminding everyone that even though the media has pulled out, Joplin still needs help and prayers!

    ReplyDelete
  20. speechless, but God bless you and those you were able to help. xoxooxoxoxoxoxo

    ReplyDelete
  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I can't begin to imagine what it must have been like for the people of Joplin. Tragic & devastating don't seem like strong enough words when folks lose everything, including in many cases friends and family.
    Having grown up in KS severe weather is a part of life in the spring (as many in the midwest I'm sure understand). Yet thankfully I've never even seen a tornado. I've watched The Wizard of Oz too many times which only made me love musicals and be afraid of tornadoes even more.
    Bless you and the others who are able to help these folks who really need it now.

    Joanne

    ReplyDelete
  23. This just brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for helping out!

    ReplyDelete
  24. What a wonderful opportunity for you and your colleagues to really make a difference in people's lives. 30 days have passed and those of us in other parts of the country can easily forget that for the people of Joplin...the struggle is far from over. We collected $ donations at our church to send to the relief effort...we were glad to help in this way but it's going to take a long time for this town to be whole. Thank you for sharing this story...and the pictures.
    Take care.
    Joyce

    ReplyDelete
  25. The devastation saddens me. I am sure your kindness and generosity was much appreciated.
    Thank God for people like you!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Jane, I couldn't believe what Joplin went through. My heart goes out to them. God bless you for helping. Connie

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thank you for posting about this effort. Isn't it funny how a disaster can happen anywhere in the world and the United States are usually the first to respond with help and relief but when something so devastating as this tornado was I am not sure if other countries have stepped in to help. The comfort comes in knowing that we, as a nation, are willing to step in and help our own. Some would paint a picture of America by the crime and greediness that takes place but it is this kind of help that seems to go unnoticed. It is people like you that truly make this country GREAT!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thanks Jane!
    Every time I see anything on the news it makes me so sad.
    It's so nice you got to help out!!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Oh Jane I'm so GLAD you've been able to lend a helping hand & reach out to your fellow countrymen at this time....!! I'm SURE those in need who passed by your tent on Tuesday drew strength from your efforts & comfort from your smile....!!

    Our media has been reporting on your wild weather all the way down here & after the devastation of our own floods & fires this past year I can only imagine the hardship these poor people are enduring....!!

    Cheers,
    Tamarah xx

    ReplyDelete
  30. This is all so heart breaking. But it is good to see that things are organized and getting into the hands of people in need. Thanks for the report.

    Jocelyn @
    http://justalittlesouthernhospitality.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. I still can't believe the destruction and the horror of it all. I'm glad you posted this as a reminder that we still need to help. It is far from over there.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thank you for helping out!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Jane I think we learn so much about the strength of people and ourselves when we get a chance to volunteer like that. Thank you for helping.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Jane, how fabulous that you volunteered your time to assist in Joplin. The devastation is amazing. I remember driving through Homestead, FL after Hurricane Andrew ripped through there just aghast at the destruction. But how great that everybody was looking out for the other guy. You just don't really hear that much these days.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by. I really enjoy reading all of your comments!