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Community Matters, Health & Wellness, Missouri & Ozarks

Joplin Tornado Relief Efforts

On May 22 a tornado hit Joplin, Mo., causing immeasurable damage to homes and businesses. Residents had a mere 20-minute warning to find shelter before the storms hit. At time of publication, the death toll sits at 122 as citizens of Joplin sort through the wreckage.

There is a shred of light in all of the darkness, which is how quickly communities across the Ozarks have banded together to help. Wondering what you can do? This list is an excellent place to start.

  • United Way 211 - Numbers to Know [PDF] -- updated June 24
    A recent list of social services available to people who have been affected by the Joplin tornado. For additional resources, call 2-1-1 or 1-800-427-4626 or search the 211 database.
  • Community Blood Center of the Ozarks
    Find information on blood donation. The Community Blood Center of the Ozarks is now asking for people to wait a couple of weeks before giving blood.
  • Greater Ozarks Red Cross
    This area chapter of the American Red Cross is providing updates on donations and assistance to the Joplin area. You can also find information on how to contribute financially to those who need it most.
  • How to Help Tornado Survivors
    This blog from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) explains how best to help those affected by this crisis and provides links to area organizations and resources that will help the community.
  • University of Missouri Extension: Tornadoes
    This site lists disaster assistance numbers as well as news, websites and publications related to tornadoes and clean-up efforts.
  • How You Can Help Joplin Relief Efforts
    The Springfield News-Leader has compiled an expansive list of businesses, schools and organizations to help connect individuals with assistance opportunities including fundraisers and supply drives.
  • Humane Society of Southwest Missouri
    This page provides an opportunity for individuals to contribute financially to disaster relief for animals affected by recent storms. You may also donate at the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association or check with an area veterinary clinic to see if it is a drop-off site for needed supplies such as crates, towels, bedding, leashes, dishes, etc.

Remember to check Facebook and other social media frequently, as businesses are generally able to update those sites much quicker than their personal websites.

Currently, volunteer efforts are strictly search and rescue, so only those licensed to assist in those areas should volunteer. If you are licensed in these areas, you can register to volunteer.

Volunteers for clean-up efforts will be needed soon but are still being organized at this time. Those wanting to volunteer should wait three to five days and then call either 211 or 800-427-4626.

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