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Specific Needs in Joplin — May 28, 2011

Short background: I grew up in Neosho, which is about 15 minutes south of Joplin, Missouri. Neosho is a small town, so we teenagers spent a lot of time in Joplin. Now, 11 years after graduation, many of my friends live in Jopin, and my mom does too. I can’t tell you how greatful I am that everyone I know is safe and well, but that doesn’t stop me from trying to help however I can.

Today, I helped a high school friend, Mac, find some work for him and some other ex-Army buddies who are traveling to Joplin from Tennessee. Jacque connected me to Joplin Family Worship Center, who is sending out teams to work through the rubble. While on the phone with Cindy, we talked about need the JFWC has, and I want to help get some of those items from the Springfield area to Joplin.

The especially need items that you don’t want to wear used:

  • bras
  • socks
  • underwear
  • boxers

They also need work items:

  • men’s work boots
  • work gloves
  • duct tape
  • tarps
  • chainsaw bar oil

For their meal ministry—they’re serving food from 9 AM until 8 PM—they need these items:

  • peanut butter and jelly
  • macaroni and cheese
  • cereal

Find the entire list—updated daily—at JFWC.org

So if your office or church wants to help, collect the following items, contact me by commenting, sending me a Facebook message, or calling/texting me at 417.597.3045. I will deliver the items to JFWC next week, either Thursday or Friday—or sooner—depending on how quickly we fill up my car. (Yes, that’s a challenge!)

The Joplin Torndao: Strangers Helping Strangers

I am hearing so many stories of strangers helping strangers in Joplin, both people from Joplin and the surrounding areas and those far away. I am lucky enough to be a one little chain in the link of one of those stories, and here it is.

Tuesday evening, I saw a post on one of the many Joplin tornado relief groups from Tracie in Ohio saying that she needed to get  some specific items to a specific person at MSSU. I know Betsy, who works at MSSU, so I put Tracie and Betsy in contact.

The next morning and without realizing it was the same request, I reposted Betsy’s status update about donations for some plus-sized clothing. One of my brother’s friends from high school, Jacque, responded, and connected me with Becky, who works with Young Life and had just done a clothing drive at Northpark Mall. Becky confirmed that she had the sizes Tracie’s friend needed, so when I got to Joplin (some of this happened while I was traveling from Springfield to Joplin) I passed Becky’s number on to Tracie’s friend in need, who’s name I had found out by this point, was Laura.

Well, at my mom’s apartment in Joplin, the first thing we did was eat the lunch I had brought. Second, I told her I had some phone calls to make. On the off-chance she did, I asked her if she knew Becky. She does! Then I asked if she knew Laura, and she does! Mom knows both of these ladies, one who would help  the other simply because of a post I saw on Facebook.

In the meantime, my sister-in-law Edi and her sister Jesse collecting donations and are mailing them to me to get to Laura in Joplin.

In the meantime, I found out that Tracie doesn’t actually know Laura! She just saw this need that someone has posted online and wanted to help.

In the meantime, Tracie convinced Lane Bryant to break policy and allow her to purchase a gift card from Ohio for Laura in Joplin, which Laura used to buy much-needed bras and two work outfits, since she has to go back to work on Monday.

In the meantime, we are still working to get Laura, who lost everything in this tornado, some more work clothes. Can you help? Here is what she needs

  • size 10 underwear
  • 42DD bras
  • size 24 (or ee) pants
  • 3x shirts
  • size 9 or 9 1/2 shoes

If you can help and you know me personally, message or text me to let me know you have donations. I can deliver them on Saturday when I go down. If you are out of the are and would like to help, post a comment with your email address, send me a Facebook message, or text me at 417.597.3045, and I can give you a shipping address.


Specific Needs in Joplin

source: Chris McCrillis @CumulusMaximus

[ image source ]

Short background: I grew up in Neosho, which is about 15 minutes south of Joplin, Missouri. Neosho is a small town, so we teenagers spent a lot of time in Joplin. Now, 11 years after graduation, many of my friends live in Jopin, and my mom does too. She lived in the Plaza Apartments, actually, which are about a quarter mile NE of the Home Depot, if you’ve seen any pictures of that destruction. She is safe and so is the family cat, Naveed, but she–and everyone–has lost so much. The tornado there is devastating, both physically and emotionally.

I just got off the phone with Besty Leighninger in Joplin who works at MSSU and helped at the Red Cross center there yesterday. She gave me a lot of really great information and I think a blog post is more efficient way to disseminate it than several posts on Facebook or Twitter.

Clothing Donations

Do not take clothing to the Leggett and Platt Athletic Center on the MSSU campus. Those donations need to go to local shelters and churches (see list below).

Places to Take Clothing Donations

Unless otherwise stated, the location is Joplin.

  • The Bridge — 3405 S. Hammons Blvd. 417.206.6886
  • Clothing Drive at Battlefield Mall — going on at least today, May 24 —
  • College Heights Christian Church (also asking for duct tape) — 4311 E. Newman Rd. 417.624.6915
  • College View Baptist Church — 1602 N. Duquesne Rd. 417.781.5025 — Also serving as a 24-hour volunteer service center, so if you need a place to sleep or shower or eat, this is the place to go.
  • Ignite Church (also asking for trash bags) — 710 N. Maiden Ln. 417.438.6840
  • Neosho YMCA — 4701 Chouteau Dr., Neosho, MO, 417.455.9999
  • Neosho Junior and Senior High School — 511 S. Neosho Blvd, Neosho, MO, 417.451.8670

Food Donations

If you are going directly to Joplin or a surrounding area, take fresh fruits and veggies. They have an abundance of chips and Twinkies and packaged food, but when a couple bags of bananas were dropped off at the Red Cross center set up at MSSU, they were gone in minutes.

Don’t forget that food banks will need to be restocked next week and the week after that and the week after that. If you want to get donations to the area but aren’t going yourself, remember big donation centers like Convoy of Hope, but I’ll make trips there if there’s a need.

  • bags of baby carrots
  • veggie trays
  • apples
  • bananas
  • oranges
  • fruit and applesauce cups, along with plastic spoons

Other Needed Items

People who are working through the wreckage of their homes need packing supplies, both flat boxes and packing tape, along with water-proof containers, like Rubbermaid tubs. Trash bags are helpful too.

The Red Cross Greater Ozarks Chapter is asking for diabetic foods and snacks and office supplies like ink pens, as well as paper goods like paper plates and cups. They need an ink cartridge for Brother model MFC-290C printer, and the Safe and Well center in Leggett and Platt Athletic Center needs copy paper. If you are going to Joplin, please drop these off at the Leggett and Platt Athletic Center on the MSSU campus.

You can also take diabetic syringes and medicine to Tim Mitchell at the Family Pharmacy in the Price Cutter on Neosho Blvd and he will get them to where they are needed most in Joplin.

Pillow cases and bedsheets are needed at the MSSU campus relief site at the Health & Sciences Building.

Crazy Debbie’s Fireworks on N. Main is asking for work gloves, flashlights, Tylenol, ziplock bags, batteries. (Per Angela Ducommun via Helen Hale on FB)

Mystery Church (514 S. Main St.) duct tape, disposable plates, cups, silverware.

First Baptist Neosho (12325 E. Hwy. 86; near 71 South at the Hwy 86 Neosho Exit) is asking for the following items: new underwear and socks for both children and adults, stuffed animals and board games for children, new towels, toiletries, and hygiene items.

People need ways to clean up that do not require water. Think face wipes and baby wipes.

Many people will lose their job because their workplace is destroyed and will be struggling financially. Betsy is taking donations for restaurant, fast food, and grocery store gift cards and will get them to people who she knows will use them prudently. Send these donations to me (P.O. Box 14383, Springfield, MO, 65814) and I will forward them to Betsy. Here are places that still have locations standing:

  • Walmart
  • Price Cutter
  • Food 4 Less
  • Aldi
  • McDonald’s
  • Subway
  • Hardee’s
  • Taco Bell
  • Jimmy John’s
  • KFC
  • Olive Garden
  • Logan’s Road House
  • Carino’s
  • Applebee’s
  • Bob Evans
  • Cheddars
  • Cracker Barrel
  • Outback
  • Steak & Shake

People Betsy know have expressed need for the following items. Take these items to College Heights.

  • tarps
  • ropes
  • batteries
  • flashlights
  • battery radios for weather warnings while the power if off
  • disposable cameras to collect data for insurance
  • cordless drills
  • gas for generators
  • bedding
  • mattresses
  • basic furniture
  • small fridges
  • microwaves
  • ice chests filled with Gatorade, water, pop, juice

Finally, listen to these local radio stations to find out on-going specific needs and which shelters have those needs.

Want to Help?

If you’re like me, you’re anxious to get your hands dirty helping, but the area is currently closed down because emergency crews are trying to focus on search and rescue efforts. (Here’s the MODOT map of closed roads. Zoom in on Joplin.) The Neosho YMCA needs help sorting and folding clothes, but give Jenny a call there at 417.451.6508 before you go because we don’t want them to get overwhelmed with too many people.

Other places needing help sorting donations are Forrest Park Baptist Church (725 S. Highview Ave. 417.623.4606) and The Bridge (address above). (Per Aaron Decker on FB)

Volunteers needed at College Heights to help get supplies and water downtown.