Millions of dollars in donations have poured in from around the world since the May 22, 2011, tornado. Those donations represent money from lemonade stands, charity auctions, corporate gifts and celebrity checks, just to name a few. In fact, one year later donations continue to come to Joplin.
A story on today’s front page details those contributions, which now approach $40 million. Because many donations were funneled through churches or went directly to victims, we may never know the full extent of the charity afforded to us.
We reason that the world has been generous to Joplin, and continues to be, because largely efforts have been made to be good stewards of the money.
One example cited in the report comes from a Joplin church that has received $1.1 million. All but $400,000 went for food and care of local tornado victims. Other money has been used to create a tool-lending program for the community. We view that as an excellent example of putting money to its intended use.
The story also reveals that large amounts of money are still being held in funds set up for specific purposes.
Now, a year after the tornado, we must continue to stay the course of rebuilding homes and businesses in the devastated tornado area. We must use money given to Joplin for tornado victims to do that very thing.
We must honor the wishes of the donors to the best of our abilities. To do anything else is to betray the generosity so graciously given to Joplin.
On this Memorial Day keekend, we remember the 161 lives lost by championing all the lives saved.