I can't stop watching all the news coverage on the tornado damage in Joplin, Mo. I think if I hadn't had a lot on my To-Do List at work yesterday, I would have kept on watching the Today show, the Weather Channel and CNN.
My heart breaks for all of those families and Tony and I can't stop talking about how awful it is. In moments like these, I feel so grateful for everything that he and I have in our possession. We have each other, our families, Tyson and a warm place to call home. We have cars to drive and money to purchase food - we have our cell phones and Internet to connect with people and we have our house. While putting away my work clothes yesterday, (yes Dad, I actually hung up my work clothes....see how far I've come!) I couldn't help but think of what if all my "worldly processions" were scattered around the city.
So while I'm able to attend a brutally hard work out class (literally my legs were shaking) and eat left overs, I am thankful for what I have in this world and have a greater appreciation for my family and friends. This devastation in Joplin has affected Tony and I more than I thought it would. I think partially because Tony used to have that area for work. He's driven past that hospital countless times, visited doctors' offices in that neighborhood. For me, I've met the staff partner that lives in that area. We've heard that he and his wife are alive, but their house is completely gone. He went straight to work trying to contact all his volunteers in the area and other staff members from neighboring towns went to help him. This tornado's destructiveness has his Tony and I hard.
After chatting last night - while watching all the news coverage, it got me thinking about what he and I can do to help. So I've looked up some things that maybe we'll be able to do soon. It's a small part of what we can do, and I hope you are able to do the same. We've all been very blessed with what we have and I pray that we never have to see this kind of devastation.
How to Help:
www.safeandwell.org is a website that is currently listing over 100 survivors in Joplin, Missouri.
KANSAS CITY RED CROSS
An emergency blood drive is being held today, May 23, at the the Greater Kansas City Chapter from 2-7 p.m. If you can't make it to today's drive but still want to help, visit www.redcrossblood.org
AMERICAN RED CROSS
1-800-Red-Cross or go to redcross.org to make financial contributions. The Red Cross is also accepting donations by texting REDCROSS to 90999. Officials are also looking for any assistance from medical personnel that can help with the efforts. Please go to showmeresponse.org for more.
COMMUNITY BLOOD CENTER
Blood donations are being requested throughout the week. For information, go online to www.savealifenow.org or call 888.647.4040 to book an appointment.
HEART OF MISSOURI UNITED WA Y
Make a $10 donation to the Joplin relief efforts by texting "JOPLIN" to 864833.
HEART TO HEART INTERNATIONAL
Heart to Heart International is actively seeking cash donations, medical volunteers and care-kit items as a part of their initial response.
- Contribute financially: While Heart to Heart is rapidly responding to needs in Kansas and Missouri, it is asking local groups and individuals to make a donation by giving online at www.hearttoheart.org , calling 913-764-5200, or mailing it to 401 S. Clairborne, Suite 302, Olathe, KS 66062.
- Sign up to volunteer: At this time, Heart to Heart needs medical volunteers in Joplin If interested, please call 913-764-5200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pack hygiene kits: As part of Heart to Heart’s early response, it typically sends hygiene kits to disaster zones for people displaced for the storms. If interested, check out the care kit recipe on Heart to Heart’s website at www.hearttoheart.org
HUMANE SOCIETY OF MISSOURI
The Humane Society is sending a Disaster Response team to Joplin. You can help with your monetary donations at www.hsmo.org
The Salvation Army says that financial donations are the quickest and easiest way to help tornado survivors at this time. The money will be used to purchase food and supplies. To help Call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or go to www.salvationarmyusa.org .
Also, Emergency Disaster Services Department are taking sign ups for volunteers that want to help. However, you must be trained before they send you into an area that needs help. They are sending volunteers that have been trained first and then others after completing training. Please call 816.471.4337 to sign up for training.
MISSOURI STATE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY
The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency is asking all Missourians interested in volunteering with the recovery are urged to call either 800-427-4626 or 2-1-1. Monetary donations can also be made at those numbers.
Those with medical skills are also asked to visit www.showmeresponse.org.
Independence Event Center until 6 p.m. Monday, May 23.
NORTHLAND AUTO BODY AND TOW
Northland Auto Body and Tow is askin for blankets, bottled water, toiletries, canned goods, radios, tarps, flashlights, batteries and clothing to be dropped off at 64th and Chattham. For more information call 816-741-2588.
UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Woods Chapel United Methodist Church 4725 NE Lakewood Way, Lee's Summit, MO 6406 and Grace United Methodist Church in Lee's Summit 2400 SE 50 Hwy, Lee's Summit, Mo 64063--- Two United Methodist churches were severely damaged in the Joplin tornado, as was our district office there. In response, Woods Chapel and Grace are receiving items to help those in need. Items to be received are: • Chainsaws (this is a specific item requested by the Pastor at St. Paul’s) • Cases of bottled water • All varieties of batteries • Items for babies: formula, diapers and wipes • Towels and blankets • Fully assembled Fun Kits for children in gallon sized baggies. Suggested brand-new items may include coloring books, crayons, card games, bubbles, inflatable balls, play dough, etc.