Joplin: Photo Travels 70 Miles To Bring Hope For Recovery—Salvation Army Hopes To Reunite Families With Past At Joplin Lost And Found

St. Louis, MO — Jim and Jackie Farrell of Willard, MO, were on their 60-acre farm north of Springfield when they came across an old 8×10 photo of a 2-year-old boy taken in March 2000. They believe the photo, mostly in good shape with just a few small holes, was blown 70 miles from the town of Joplin, Mo., to their farm after the tornado on May 22.

The EF-5 tornado that ripped through Joplin packed winds of more than 200 mph and possibly peaked at 250 mph. It created a path nearly a mile wide and six miles long in the middle of downtown. With those high winds much of the area was destroyed and items such as this photo were found throughout the region.

This photo found its way to The Salvation Army after the Farrell’s cousin, Larry, read that the Army had an area of lost and found items that people had dropped off at its Oasis tent set up at the corner of 26th and Main St.

“I was coming through the area traveling to Arkansas and felt this was something I had to do. To locate this kid,” said Larry Farrell. “It looked like a photo that had been given to a grandmother or family member and I thought they might want it back. I did a little research, but couldn’t find anything.”

Currently, The Salvation Army has a tent at the site of its new thrift store that was destroyed. The Army has been doing daily feedings, caseworkers have been offering financial assistance, free supplies and an area for lost and found filled with old photos and other items are inside the tent.

Change of locations
Next week on Thursday, June 30, all operations at this location will move to the Army’s old thrift store that is currently serving as a recovery supply store. It is located at 402 East 7th Street and is open each day from 9–5 p.m. Those recovering from the tornado will be able to get financial assistance and other supplies as Joplin continues to recover.

Monetary donations:
The best way to help Joplin now is to call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or go to to make a donation by credit card. Checks may be mailed to The Salvation Army, PO Box 21787, St. Louis, MO 63109-0787. Please designate the gift “Joplin Tornado.” Cell phone users may also text the word JOPLIN to 80888 to make a $10 donation charged to their cell phone bill (text and/or messaging charges may apply).

Donations of used Household Goods and Clothing:
Due to the high expense and time demands associated with delivering your gently-used household goods and clothing (gifts-in-kind), The Salvation cannot guarantee that any individual gifts-in-kind donated now will be sent to the disaster area. In time of disaster, our stores fill these needs from existing, pre-sorted stock. By continuing to donate gently-used household goods to your local Salvation Army store, you not only help your community, you help us prepare for future disaster relief needs. To find your nearest drop-off location, please go to