Many of you know one of my very favorite people in the world lives in the town next to Joplin, MO. Deb was visiting us here in Texas when the tornado hit. She flew in to be a part of Suzy’s Preschool graduation. She is family. I’ll keep this post brief, and let her words at the end tell you first hand.
When I spoke with her on the phone, she said there was a huge need for plastic tubs for people to keep things they have salvaged. Paper boxes are getting wet with the following rains. She also spoke of a desire just to have cash in her pocket to give to people looking for items they need. Like a bra. She spoke of a poor woman who was lounging without her bra, since it was Sunday afternoon. Now, come on girlfriends, how many of you can relate to that? 😉 Deb wished she just had $20 to say, “Here, go buy a bra!”
So, I’m going to be sending some cash up to Deb (via check, of course) on Tuesday. If you trust me, you can certainly trust Deb. If you want to give to someone in the trenches, you are welcome to join me. I will also be making a trip up in August when the other volunteers have moved on and the need continues. You are welcome to donate goods to be loaded into my van at that time.
Here is an update from Deb’s return home. It’s her first email she has sent out.
Good Evening loved ones!!
It was a very tiring and emotional day but I would not have spent it any other way!! I was able to go to our church in Joplin today. Driving past places where we bought gas , schools and homes that now no longer exist and seeing all the trees stripped with big pieces of metal hanging from partial branches was mind boggling. Most of the streets were cleared so people were driving on them….some going places legitimately and others gauking sp?. They pushed all the debris from the streets into the empty lots. Cases of bottled water are stacked on every street corner as well as portable potties.
At the church I helped sort through all the items being brought in for those in need. There were truck loads after truck loads. We sorted clothes, food and toiletries. I was on the stage with the toiletries. We probably had 200 or more bottles of shampoo, 100 of conditioner. 500 bars of soap, 600 toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste, etc. etc. The entire stage was packed. We have a classroom full of baby items, another classroom full of bottled water and another of toilet paper and paper towels.
We served a lot of meals to workers inside the church gymnasium but took more out to the lots where houses used to stand and volunteers were digging through rubble.. I wanted to go out there but the men were doing that with gators and mules etc. There were several people who went through who had lost their homes. It was interesting to watch what they took. They were not greedy at all. Maybe because they had no place to store anything. And they all seemed upbeat and hopeful. They were all so eager to share their story. They so wanted someone to listen and care.
I was asked to cook lunch for tomorrow so have made a triple batch of spaghetti pie and some chocolate cupcakes. Lots of others will be cooking as well.
We had a group from Farmington which is south of St.Louis volunteering. There were two medical docs, one ER doc and two nurses one psychiatric as well as other volunteers. Sunday twenty more volunteers are coming from that area along with two bulldozers. We had volunteers from Minnesota and Arkansas as well. It was amazing to see the generous outpouring of help from strangers to total strangers. American people do have big loving kind hearts. And it is such a good feeling to see it and be a small part of it.
Mom you said you wanted to donate money. I will ask our pastor the best way to do that through our church because we have several without homes or you could donate to Red Cross, Catholic Relief, Lutheran World Relief, etc. Donating through our church will assure it does not go for advertising at all.
Anyway that is the news today. Will let you know how tomorrow goes. If you are bored with my ramblings just delete when you see my helping Joplin subject line. I plan to write each day I go over.
Love you all. Please continue to pray God comfort those who have lost their loved ones and that all the bodies can be identified by their family and friends. That seems to be the most frustrating part of this whole crisis. Due to several false identifications at the beginning the authorities have made it more difficult to view them for id. And please pray for efficiency and endurance for all the volunteers.
And because every post is better with photos…. Here’s more Aunt Deb!