Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Helping Out in Joplin

This past weekend my brother and sister-in-law volunteered to help in Joplin. They spent Saturday there. You can read more about it on my brother's blog here.

I talked to both of them on the phone on Sunday. They said pictures or video really do not give the real sense of what has happened. It has a very surreal look to it. They said where they went to sign in was a school which was out of the tornado's path. It looked fine. They took a bus to the site. As they got closer to the site, the destruction became more and more noticeable until you could look around and that's all you could see: destruction.

This is part of what they were told before starting their work:

The young Americorps leaders told us to move debris from front yards and heap it into separate piles at the curb: lumber, timber and metal. To assure the integrity of insurance assessments, they told us not to disturb any debris that was touching a dwelling or a slab. A FEMA-certified volunteer told me that one reason for the yard-clearing work was to keep debris from being thrown into the air again “if we had another blow.” Another reason offered by an Americorps person was to clear the way for bulldozers that would be coming in next. So, the operation was proceeding in little increments over many stages.

They said the people they ran into from Joplin itself were extremely grateful for the help they offered. But there is so much more to do they added.

I'm just very proud that they decided to help out. Slowly Joplin will come back as long as they get some help like Ed and Jennifer gave this past Saturday.

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