The worst tornado in US history since 1953 took so much from Joplin, Missouri. We spent yesterday there with dozens of other volunteers helping serve meals to the thousands of people who have lost their homes, cars, livelihood... basically everything. So much devastation, as far as the eye can see. Homes, businesses and the saddest of all... lives were lost here Sunday when the F-5 tornado ripped through the heart of town. It took the top two floors of a solidly built hospital, those floors held cardiac patients and the NICU wards with the smallest and newest. It took schools and nursing homes and medical clinics. As it blew away walls of homes it took precious memories, pictures and Grandma's china and the wedding dress that was carefully folded and placed in a cedar chest waiting for their daughter to grow up. It took away trees in front yards where kids used to play, the same trees that provided shade for their parents or even grandparents. Joplin was a beautiful small town that was Home Sweet Home to 50,000 people. It was a great place to raise kids and buy a home and grow old. In only a few minutes their world has been turned upside down. You'd expect their spirits to be broken, but they have a strength inside that is amazing. In this close-knit southern town they lean on each other and appreciate any and all kindnesses that they receive. If you'd like to help out, it's as simple as making a donation to the Red Cross or giving blood. Whatever you can give will help them to rebuild their lives.
Crews from Sedalia, Mo. were cooking when we got there at 8 AM.
These folks traveled from Clarksville, Arkansas with a killer rotisserie smoker like they use on Food Network!
You can count on the big hearts of Tyson to open up their wallets when a disaster happens.
Crews from Monett and Noel, Missouri and Rogers, Arkansas came yesterday to help out with the cooking. The people to work a big effort like this are easy to find. They work day shift or night shift, but they make the time to help out.
Thanks to Lowe's Hardware who provided tables, chairs and canopies. Their generosity to the community with donations of supplies will never be forgotten. Home Depot was leveled Sunday night but has plans to rebuild which is great news.
Both Home Depot and Wal-mart have pledged $1million to the residents of Joplin to help recover and rebuild. It's not going to happen overnight, but it WILL happen. Missourians are strong, determined and they don't know the meaning of "quit!"