The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

August 30, 2013

Our View: Challenge far from over

“To meet the challenge, we asked Missourians to respond” by signing up on the state website, Gov. Jay Nixon told the audience gathered at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.

“Not only did the people of Missouri respond, but the teams responded big time.”

That’s how 35 houses were built in a year for those in need after Joplin’s 2011 tornado.

He congratulated the Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity, Missouri’s sports teams, volunteers and homeowners for meeting the challenge.

Borrowing a paragraph we spotted in a St. Louis Post Dispatch editorial earlier this week about a housing project in that town: “A house here, a house there, pretty soon you’ve got a block. Cities are built with blocks.”

And that’s the way you do it. Through Nixon’s Governor’s Challenge, Joplin grew by 35 homes and replenished several city blocks that were gutted by the tornado. It was a tremendous effort. A big thanks to all who were involved.

Imagine where we would be without the work of groups such as Habitat, Rebuild Joplin, Catholic Charties and Samaritan’s Purse. And that’s just mentioning a few of the volunteer-based groups that are rebuilding Joplin one house at a time.

But the challenge is far from over. The volunteer base is tired or it is moving on to other towns that have been hit hard by devastating weather.

Let’s finish this job. Let’s create blocks. Let’s put people back into good homes.

Let’s build this city.

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