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From Joplin, With Love

From Joplin, With Love

“When we heard about Moore, it was déjà vu,” says Lt. James Curry, corps officer for The Salvation Army in Joplin, Missouri.

It was May 22, 2011, when the community of Joplin, Missouri, was hit by an EF5 tornado. One hundred and sixty-one lives were lost; another 1,150 people were injured. The tornado was big, measuring a mile wide in its widest part.

The EF5 that touched down in Moore on May 20, 2013, was wider.

“We started praying immediately,” Curry says. “When I went to work we had a moment of silence.”

Soon after, the community stepped up in a big way.

“We had people dropping off baby diapers, wipes, shampoo and conditioner. People who couldn’t afford to buy hand sanitizer were buying hand sanitizer,” says Ali O’Dell, Volunteer Coordinator for The Salvation Army Joplin Corps.

Along with the diapers, wipes and toiletries came bottled water, and lots of it. Sam’s Club donated 2 pallets of water. Another four pallets came from Tri-State Motor Transit Co. and Downstream Casino Resort.

Beacon Roofing Supply donated a truck to drive the donated goods from Missouri. They also donated hygiene kits, cleaning supplies and other items that can be used for debris clean-up and removal.

Lt. Curry said the citizens of Joplin would continue to keep the Moore community in their prayers.

“This outpouring of love and support for the Moore community is something that the Joplin community wanted to do. We’re here to support the community of Moore until the needs are met.”

While Joplin continues to rebuild, Moore will now begin to heal. The gift of love from a different state will help both communities as they look forward, and remember the past.

The Salvation Army is no longer accepting in kind donations; monetary donations are the most critical need as supplies and personnel move into the areas of greatest need. Donors are encouraged to give online at www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).

Salvation Army Dedicates Three New Canteens in Missouri

Divisional Commander Major Lonneal Richardson, left, addresses the crowd during the canteen dedication.
Divisional Commander Major Lonneal Richardson, left, addresses the crowd during the canteen dedication.

St. Louis, MO (January 29, 2012)—Thanks to the generous support of partners United Way of Greater St. Louis and Beacon Roofing Supply, Inc., The Salvation Army was able to purchase the canteens to better serve communities afflicted with disaster. The canteens will replace older models in St. Louis, Cape Girardeau, and Joplin.

Major Lonneal Richardson, left, stands with Bill Sarvis of Beacon Roofing Supply, Inc., and Lieutenant James Curry, Joplin. Beacon Roofing generously donated $100,000 toward the purchase of the Joplin canteen.

To celebrate the addition of the canteens, The Salvation Army hosted a dedication service today at Midland Division Headquarters. Representatives from Joplin, The Salvation Army, United Way, and Beacon Roofing were on-hand for remarks, as well as St. Louis Fire Department Chief Dennis Jenkerson, Advisory Board Chairman Mark Abels, and Divisional Commander Major Lonneal Richardson.

Gary Dollar, United Way of Greater St. Louis, addressed the crowd during the dedication. United Way generously donated $50,000 toward the purchase of the St. Louis canteen.

The Salvation Army’s canteens help serve more than 200,000 meals, drinks, and snacks each year to those who are hungry. In addition to responding to disasters such as severe storms and tornados, the canteens are regularly used to provide meals, water, and clothing to St. Louis’ homeless community.

The purchase of the canteens was made possible by a $100,000 donation from Beacon Roofing, $50,000 donation from United Way, and the community’s generous support of The Salvation Army.

Joplin: One Year Later

Joplin: One Year Later
Posted on May 22, 2012
Joplin: One Year Later | Salvation Army – Missouri & Southern Illinois.

Joplin: One Year Later

The Crossleys stand on their newly poured foundation, anticipating the day when they can move into their new home.

By: Danni Eickenhorst, Midland Division

Nearly one year after a historic tornado destroyed more than 7,500 homes and 500 businesses, Joplin residents are still finding their way back to normal.

“The mess has been cleaned up,” says David Crossley, manager of The Salvation Army’s homeless shelter in Joplin. “The debris is gone. You see rebuilding going on around town, and people are hopeful.”

Crossley, a 15-year employee of The Salvation Army lost his home when it was badly damaged in the storm. Emerging from a closet where they’d taken shelter, the Crossley family found their roof partially gone, their windows broken, live power lines on their car and no immediate hope for assistance. In the days following the storm, he and his family slept at The Salvation Army Community and Worship Center, at friends’ houses and at a motel.

Today, thanks to the aid of The Salvation Army, his church, family members and friends, Crossley and his family are hopeful their lives will return back to normal.

“We just poured the foundation on a home we are building. We hope to move into it in early June,” he reports.

As Crossley reflects on the long year his family has endured, he is struck by the progress they’ve made. “I was just thinking the other day, our wedding anniversary is coming up and last year we were living in a motel room with no idea where we were going to wind up. Now, we’re living in a comfortable duplex and building a home of our own. In just one year, we’ve lost nearly everything we had, and now we’re almost whole again.”

Just two months after the epic storm, Lieutenants James and Jamie Curry became officers in Joplin. Lieutenant Jamie reflects on life in her new hometown, “Any other place I have ever lived, I’ve never had the experience of stepping out my front door and seeing something different than the day before. Almost an entire year has passed since the tornado, but it still seems like last week to the residents here. While there are significant changes to the landscape as buildings are rebuilt, the emotional toll is still ever present.”

The Currys and their team have been hard at work as part of the Long Term Recovery Committee, a consortium of nonprofits and service agencies working to handle long-term survivor case management. “We have the benefit of seeing first hand how God can work, even in a disaster. There are success stories that come through our doors each day, and when these individuals get helped, it renews their desire to help others.”

Residents of Joplin rebuilding after the storm.

Crossley says that in some ways that storm has been a blessing. “It brought my family closer, and I think it brought many of us in the community closer. Whenever we had a need, The Salvation Army or one of its partners was there to meet it. God’s love has been manifested in so many ways in these days of recovery, and I am so grateful.”

Lt. Curry observes, “There is a greater sense of community among the people of Joplin. As is the case in many catastrophic events, everyone is affected in one form or another which creates in itself a genuine sense of comradeship. Joplin is no different.”

Dana Ross, Case Manager for The Salvation Army Joplin Relief Center, says “We have formed some amazing partnerships. We are one of the primary social service providers for this event, and through these partnerships we can connect our clients with just about anything they need.”

The Salvation Army was recently awarded a contract with Missouri that will allow it to continue long-term case management with residents through May 2013. In the coming weeks, long-term plans will be released detailing The Salvation Army’s strategy for long-term recovery and investment in Joplin.