Sending Our Love To Joplin
By Echo Menges
Two weeks ago we offered our office up as one of the first donation drop-off centers in the county to benefit the survivors of the Joplin tornado and you, Knox County, responded in droves. Thanks to the local efforts of Weaverland Disaster Service of Missouri and the strong support of the dedicated people at KMEM radio station, News & Program Director Rick Fisher and Sales Rep. Audrey Spray, we were receiving cases of water, non-perishable food items, blankets, personal hygiene items, clothes and more two days before our May 25th issue arrived in your mailboxes and a day before it hit the stands. It was an amazing example of how local news organizations can pull together for the greater good and for that we say thank you to KMEM and to the people of our area (you know who you are)!
The Sentinel wasn’t the only place local folks were going to give. The Burkholder Farm in Baring also took donations in Knox County and the Ministerial Alliance began taking monetary donations toward the Weaverland relief effort right away too.
Groups working through Weaverland began trekking to Joplin almost immediately after the deadliest tornado on record wiped out much of the town. All the while donations continued to pour in here, the Burkholder Farm and the other Weaverland donation centers which opened in Scotland County.
All in all every donation center collected at least enough to fill a Weaverland trailer (pictures on page 9) completely up.
According to a Weaverland representative the donations collected in both Knox and Scotland Counties will be taken to Joplin, a little at a time, beginning this week. Your donations will end up at one of the donation distribution centers set up in Joplin to aid people who have lost so much.
The work to rebuild the devastated town of Joplin is literally just beginning. The group of volunteers from our area, working through Weaveland, is already committed to rebuilding several homes for the widowed and the elderly who have lost everything. And while they have agreed to accept and transport anything the people of our area want to donate to the survivors in Joplin, what they really need now is monetary donations for travel expenses and building supplies.
“What we’re really giving them is free labor and if there are supplies they can’t afford and we can help with of course we’re willing to do that. We’ve made a commitment to continue sending groups for at least a year or two.” Said a Weaverland representative. “We’re pleased with the amount we’ve collected, but so far it looks like we may run out before the end of summer.”
If you would like to donate to the Weaverland Disaster Service of Missouri call Raymond Burkholder Jr./Weaverland Treasurer at (660) 341-4013.