Wow, volunteers everywhere

Posted by | Filed under Missouri | May 30, 2011 | 2 Comments

I have now been in Joplin for four days and I am still amazed and excited about the continued outpouring of volunteers. Today I worked with three folks from Chicago; Larry, Jack and Lauren. They drove through the night to get to Joplin to help for the next three days. They are not the only ones that have come a long way; two young women drove 15 hours from northwestern Pennsylvania to help. It goes on and on like this. People have come from near and far. AmeriCorps is organizing the volunteers and they are doing a great job. A lot of young people have come out, but you can find people of all ages, even kids who come with their parents. It is an amazing effort to clean-up Joplin. In addition to the thousands of volunteers picking-up debris and cutting down trees you have hundreds of people preparing food for the people displaced as well as for the volunteers. People drive down the streets handing out cold drinks and sandwiches. It is so inspiring that even though I am exhausting, I have a hard time going to sleep at night. I feel guilty sleeping in just a bit when I hear how long people drove to get here. I have yet to hear someone say a bad word about anything, except about the looters earlier in the week. What kind of person steals from someone who just lost everything?

Hard working volunteers Lauren, Larry and Jack from Chicago in front of a cleaned-up house

The other day I dropped of two boys who were looking for a place for the night at a church. When I saw the large parking lot I figured I could ask if I could park there overnight. I spoke with Kelly at the church and she wasn’t sure if I could, however, I was more than welcome to stay on their property, I could even plug into their electric. She and her husband David live 20 miles east of Joplin. It seems to be in a different world. Hay fields, cows, frogs and crickets. Just the kind of beautiful scenery one needs after spending the day in rubble. Everyone has been very helpful, except the owners of my first campground who were not willing to give any kind of discount.
The magnitude of this disaster is hard to comprehend. The tornado tore up an area one mile wide and six miles long, that’s a whole lot of destroyed homes.

2 Responses to “Wow, volunteers everywhere”

  • Tammy blaha says:

    Jicky, It was such a pleasure to meet you!!!! I am the only volunteer you kept running into every day 🙂 I will be coming back to Joplin every other weekend to help in any way I can.

    I also LOVE your website and would like to purchase a copy of your book when it comes out!!!

    Thank you for all you are doing!



  • Jicky says:

    Hi Tammy,
    it was great volunteering with you. I did end up running into some other volunteers once or twice more.
    Keep me posted on the progress in Joplin. Great that you are planning on going back.
    I am not sure when my new book will come out, but you can always check out the old one, just click on the link on the home page, thanks.