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02 June 2011

Rupp: Rebuilding Joplin, One Step at a Time

As I mentioned in last week’s column, the people of Joplin are enduring devastating hardships after a powerful EF-5 tornado swept through the town on May 22. Although sadness still looms over southwest Missouri, a glimmer of hope is on the horizon for Joplin. Numerous citizens from across our state and nation have made their way to Joplin to volunteer, and organizations are collaborating to help victims with everything from food service to rebuilding plans. The generosity demonstrated by these people is a true example of the American spirit — when a community is struck with grief, the rest of us are there to help pick up the pieces.

Recently, a website was launched by Bright Futures, a grassroots, community-based program that creates partnerships and utilizes local resources for the common goal of helping families and the community. The website,, is a beneficial resource for people who have been affected by the storm, and for people who would like to help. This website is both valuable and trustworthy (all information has been verified), and is endorsed by the City of Joplin, Joplin Public Schools, United Way 2-1-1, and an abundance of other organizations.

For tornado victims, lists charities, churches, and businesses that are offering food and supplies, housing and employment assistance, helpful services (banking, child care, pet care, storage, etc.), and support for those who have lost or are missing a loved one. The website also provides options for citizens who would care to offer funds, resources, and/or their time to help the people of Joplin. Over the next several months, will adapt to meet the changing needs of Joplin. Several organizations are asking for assistance, including the Salvation Army, Joplin Public Schools, United Way, the Joplin Humane Society, the Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity, and several local churches.

Please consider a gift to help the people of Joplin. Many have lost loved ones and no longer have their homes, and would appreciate knowing that their fellow Missourians are looking out for them and care for them. Thank you for keeping the people of Joplin in your thoughts and prayers, and please continue to do so as they dust themselves off from this horrible disaster and begin to move forward.

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