Disaster Strikes in Joplin, KC Answers the Call for Help
May 24, 2011
Our heart goes out to those survivors of the Joplin, Missouri tornado. Much of the city is devastated, and the number of dead and injured continues to rise. The city has effectively shut down, with most businesses and schools closed or collapsed. One beacon of hope in all the suffering is Joplin Public Library. Their main branch was left unscathed, and they have bravely opened their doors every day this week. While the building still has power and internet access, several staff members have lost their homes. Joplin Public Library is hoping to get the word out that they are a safe space. They are providing access to charge cell phones and computers, internet access to contact loved ones, and a refuge in this trying time. Missouri Southern State University is serving as a temporary shelter, triage station, volunteer coordination spot, and general meeting place for those displaced.
You may be asking what you can do to help all the way up here in the Kansas City area. Monetary donations are being accepted by the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, AmeriCares, Convoy of Hope, the Heart of Missouri United Way, the United Way of Greater St. Louis, Heart to Heart International, and World Vision. Several of these volunteer organizations are working to provide much needed medical care, volunteers, food and water to those who have been displaced from their homes. For those who are searching for lost loved ones, the Red Cross has set up a Safe and Well website to check.
Some of us would like to do something more personal. Heart to Heart International is asking for care kits, and has provided assembly instructions here. The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency is providing details about how to donate or volunteer by calling 211. If you would like to physically volunteer, please contact one of the groups organizing aid. They will be able to tell you how you can help, where to go, and what kind of help they need. They are especially looking for medical assistance, if you have experience visit Show-Me Response to sign up as a volunteer.
Kansas City has really stepped up to raise money and support for Joplin. The Community Blood Center is asking for blood donations (especially Type O negative), and the Red Cross is holding emergency blood drives across the city. Wayside Waifs, a local pet shelter, teamed up with Spay & Neuter Kansas City Rescue Team and traveled to Joplin. They transported 25 animals from the overflowing shelter, and plan to continue their efforts. They are also accepting animal-related donations. The Kansas City Chiefs and cheerleaders have teamed up with Heart to Heart International and the Salvation Army, and are accepting donations of bottled water and money at Arrowhead Stadium through 7 pm on Wednesday, May 25th. The Missouri Mavericks are accepting donations at the Independence Events Center. The Kansas Speedway is accepting donations this weekend. A $25 donation will get you a voucher to come drive the track in your own car on June 24th; $50 upgrades you to a night drive under the lights on June 18th. Local musicians have put together a benefit show at Crosstown Station starting at 7 pm on Wednesday, June 1st, called Midcoast Cares: A Benefit for Joplin. General admission is $10, VIP is $20 (and includes a Boulevard Beer package); a silent auction and raffle will also be held. Spin Neapolitan Pizza is collecting donations at all of their locations, and will match up to $2,500 of all donations.
Mid-Continent Public Library is currently exploring what help we can provide, more information to come.
South Independence Branch