Blogs from Joplin, Missouri, United States, North America


North America » United States » Missouri » Joplin August 3rd 2013

August 1 was our cultural day and we volunteered in the morning for Catholic Charities of Southwest Missouri. While we were picking up one build site, we started to walk around the neighborhood and one gentleman was outside tending to his yard. The yard was immaculate and the house so cute from the outside. He invited us over and brought us inside. He is 91 years old and he, his two daughters and 7 dogs survived the tornado by covering themselves up with a blanket and holding on to each other. He was fortunate as a few years ago a storm had damaged his roof and when it was replaced the walls of his house were also reinforced. If his house has not had those improvements, it would have been totally destroyed in the tornado. Many ... read more
Bailey at the campground
April 2011 - A Mother's Painting
Dan testing the tornado shelter

North America » United States » Missouri » Joplin August 3rd 2013

Today is our last day in Joplin and as the day begins, we are monitoring the weather. The forecast calls for AM storms and we have learned from the people of Joplin that anytime storms approach, people become anxious and a afraid. A clap of thunder can send Sandy into the shakes and Tre to run to the storm shelter. There are so many things we take for granted, among them is that nothing like this will ever happen to us. This week has been filled with so many new learnings and new appreciations and we will be returning home changed by this experience. I'm so thankful to my teammates for making this a great week. Here's to our final day in Joplin...... read more

North America » United States » Missouri » Joplin August 1st 2013

Our second build day was filled with many experiences. When asked about what our team members are excited to share with family back home, a few of the responses were... Pam - the resilience of the community and how they came together to help each other. Carrie - Sandy's story about living through the tornado and the aftermath Dan - helping 6 year old Rajohn learn to rake and plant his new yard (We are working on Rajohn's family house) Emily - the butterfly stories (you'll have to ask about this is amazing) Kris - when faced with a huge disaster in live you can still move forward and make a difference for yourself and others Linda - there are still many driveways to no where left in Joplin Becky - the simple appreciation of ... read more

North America » United States » Missouri » Joplin July 30th 2013

The weather didn't cooperate with us and with over 2 inches of rain last night, our first days building will be indoors. We began our first day focused on priming and painting the entire house. First went on the glue like primer. For most of us we'd never painted with such thick paint! We arrived at the site as a cool and clean group and by lunch time was already well worked and marked with new white spots. From the frosted tips of hair touching the newly painted ceilings to the soles of shoes. We made good progress and almost had the entire house primed before lunch. Lunch was provided at the Transform Joplin warehouse. The warehouse has been donated to help with the rebuilding efforts and it was easy to see that the older, fully ... read more
New Hight School
Spirit Tree
Team dinner at Big R's

North America » United States » Missouri » Joplin July 29th 2013

Our team joined together to share dinner with one of the partner families we'll be working with this week. The Sherman family, John and Sunshine, along with their three children, Jade, Kayla and Steven are excited for their new home and eager to start on the construction. Madison and Scott from the Joplin Habitat for Humanity affiliate shared information and statistics from the 2011 tornado. Over 8,000 buildings (homes and businesses) were damaged or destroyed and over 17,000 residents were displaced from their homes. As they went through their presentation, a question on the slides caught my attention. What will you build? After dinner, we had our first team reflection and I asked the team...during this week, what will you build? Here are the responses shared: relationships, knowledge about what happened, memories, hope, a simpler life, ... read more

North America » United States » Missouri » Joplin July 29th 2013

Half of the team has arrived in Joplin after an overnight stay in St Louis, MO. While in St. Louis, Pam, Emily, Kris, Carrie, Dan and Mary took the opportunity to walk downtown to see the Arch. It is an understatement to say the Arch is an amazing architectural design, and what it represents and holds at its core, it also amazing and inspiring. To think of our ancestors exploring this great country and traveling West to lands unknown for a better life reminds me a little of the reason we are here in Joplin, to help families improve their lives through owning a house they can call home! The rest of the team is in route to Joplin and due to arrive within the next few hours. It will be exciting to be together for ... read more

North America » United States » Missouri » Joplin July 25th 2013

For those of you who have not seen the images, click "read more" below, then click the URL to view pictures of just how Joplin looked after the tornadoes went through in 2011. I have also attached pictures I took in July 2012 when I took a motorcycle trip through Joplin and spent two days there. Most of the debris is gone, but bare tree trunks remained with some new construction just beginning. For the most part, it was simply bare land with some concrete foundations. url= read more

North America » United States » Missouri » Joplin June 1st 2013

Départ à 7h00 (27 626 miles au compteur) pour quitter la région du Missouri au plus vite et ses orages. A Joplin, nous serons à la limite du Missouri et du Kansas, mais après ce sera l'Oklahoma, et alors là, orages ou tornades ??? Mystère Nous nous arrêtons faire le plein après quelques miles (9,707 gallons pour 36,39 $ et 27 684 miles). Comme nous n'avons que de la pluie et pas grand chose à voir, nous filons direction Joplin. Nous profitons d'une éclaircie pour nous arrêter à Carthage. La pluie se calme enfin et à une quarantaine de kilomètres avant Joplin nous allons visiter "Red Oak II". Pas facile à trouver. Il s'agit d'un village fantôme entièrement reconstitué. Son créateur, Lowell Davis, qui a vécu dans le "Red Oak" original a décidé de créer celui ... read more

North America » United States » Missouri » Joplin October 26th 2012

Joplin is rebuilding. Entire blocks are full of brand new houses and newly planted lawns. It’s a boomtown reminiscent of Las Vegas in the 1990s. Train car loads of debris have been removed. The Home Depot is the most crowded store in town. The Walmart, which had been flattened in the tornado, is back in full swing. St. John’s hospital, which suffered heavy damage and was evacuated after the storm, was torn down last month and will be rebuilt nearby. The high school, which had been bursting at the seams before the storm and then damaged by it, is being rebuilt, bigger and better. Other than a dearth of trees, it might be hard for a visitor to know that the tornado happened at all. Locals can point to leftover signs, though. Some are literally, signs. ... read more
"Hope" High School
Driveway to empty lot
166 families still in FEMA trailers

North America » United States » Missouri » Joplin October 25th 2012

When I first met Stephanie, she was wearing a baseball cap over her buzz cut hair. She had recently shaved her hair in sympathy for a friend who was undergoing chemotherapy. I soon learned that this was a typically bold move for Stephanie, whose outgoing style and ready smile belie some troubled times. The Joplin tornado barely missed Stephanie’s apartment, but she still felt the effects. Soon after the storm, her landlord kicked her out of her apartment, presumably because he could rent it out for much more than she was paying, given the sudden shortage of housing in the area. Stephanie and her son, O’Thellis, have spent most of the time since then in a women’s shelter. O’Thellis’ bedroom is not much more than a coat closet. Like all recipients of a Habitat for Humanity ... read more
Stephanie pulls the trigger

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