The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

November 8, 2012

UPDATED: Joplin church helps hurricane survivors

JOPLIN, Mo. — In the far corner of a shipping container bound for New York are medical supplies. Near the door are piles of blankets and dozens of sleeping bags. In between are diapers, formula and a packet of cards made by Joplin schoolchildren for people displaced by Hurricane Sandy.

“You aren’t alone,” reads one. “It will get better. A new tree will grow.”

The shipping container, once used in relief efforts after the Joplin tornado, is a milestone 18 months later, noted Daniel Wermuth, pastor at Joplin Family Worship Center.

“Things here certainly have gotten better. Now we’re paying it forward,” Wermuth said. “Life is so much fuller when you can connect with others who need your help.”

Wermuth’s church played a major role in the recovery and rebuilding efforts in Joplin as one of the primary staging areas for medical triage and the distribution of supplies.

The church continues to support local families and individuals displaced by the storm.

Wermuth and members of the congregation were on hand Thursday morning as a crew from Ozark Crane hoisted the shipping container from the church lawn onto a semitrailer provided by local trucker Joe Houston.

Those who gathered noted that the slogan printed on the side of the crane, “Let us give you a lift,” was especially appropriate.

The children’s pastor at the church, Lisa Dunn, who recorded the moment with photos and video, said she plans to put the images on Facebook to “get the word out that this is the right thing to do.” She lost her home and belongings in the May 2011 tornado, and went to the church for help. She has worked in recovery and relief ever since.

“This is like medicine, to send relief,” she said. “It brings back such a rush of memories from what we went through.”

The load was on the road by 9 a.m., driven by Houston and Al Prescott, who retired after 23 years in the Joplin area trucking industry. Prescott is a member of the congregation. They planned to share driving duties on the 1,200-mile trip and expected to arrive sometime this morning in New Jersey.

“We think it will take about eight more hours after that to navigate through the debris to our destination in New York,” Prescott said as he prepared for the trip.

Their destination is the Gospel Assembly Church on Coney Island, in a Brooklyn neighborhood that was among the hardest hit. The church, which was flooded and lost power, is now operating as a triage center.

“There’s nothing like it when you can help people like this,” said Prescott, who, like Houston, is a 64-year-old Vietnam veteran. “Especially when you’ve been through it and know how they feel.”

The shipping container was donated to Joplin in July 2011 by a Texas man, Jesse Stokely, who wanted to help. As the founder of the Christian Alliance in 1998, he sends shipping containers to areas that need them after disasters worldwide. He is covering the cost of moving the container from Joplin to New York.

“We used it as a medical dispensary and to treat wounds and cuts by volunteers in the beginning,” Wermuth said. He said some form of medical dispensary might be needed for volunteers as rebuilding efforts in Joplin continue.

“But now, it’s important it get to the East Coast,” he said. “There, the ministry on Coney Island can use it to treat those who are hurting.”

The Joplin church plans to send additional supplies to New York as needs are identified. But Prescott noted that the work in Joplin isn’t done yet.

“We still have underground storage in Carthage, which was donated, where we have frozen chicken and other food that we distribute as needed,” he said. “And Joe Houston’s eight trailers he donated to use here at the church are still here. We also have a load of toys coming from Fort Worth to share with children at Christmas. We’re going to be here awhile.”

Prescott noted that people from New York came to Joplin and volunteered, and many sent donations in the wake of the tornado.

“What goes around, comes around,” Prescott said.

Elsewhere

LODGE 27 of the Southwest Missouri Fraternal Order of Police, R&R Trucking, the Joplin Enforcers football team and Qdoba Mexican Grill will collaborate on Saturday to collect a semitrailer’s worth of supplies, including nonperishable food, clothing, bottled water and hygiene products.

THE GOODS will be collected at the restaurant, 3102 E. Seventh St., from 9 a.m. until the trailer is full or 8 p.m., whichever comes first, and will be taken to the East Coast for distribution to hurricane victims.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 072814_jd anderson.jpg VIDEO: Noel strongman advances on talent show

    The past week has been busier than normal for Noel resident J.D. Anderson. Members of the production crew for NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” told him they have shot more footage of him than of other contestants for the next episode. “They said I have the busiest schedule of anyone this week,” Anderson told the Globe in a phone interview Friday. “There’s so many fun things you can do with B-roll as a strongman.”

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • AndraBryanStefanoni.jpg Andra Bryan Stefanoni: ‘Annie’ production is a family thing

    There’s a twist to this week’s production of “Annie” at Memorial Auditorium. The show, a beloved classic tale of an orphan girl in search of a family, is full of real-life family members.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072514 Band Box.jpg Jo Ellis: Carthage icon continues to play in local restaurant

    Chicago Coin’s Band-Box, also known as “Strike Up the Band,” has been a Carthage icon since the mid- to late 1950s. Any customer who frequented Red’s Diner, or Ray’s Cafe, and now the Pancake Hut is familiar with the pulsating rhythms and movements of this mechanical device.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • SusanRedden.jpg Susan Redden: Gubernatorial hopefuls make area appearances

    Three potential candidates for Missouri governor in 2016 made stops in the Joplin area this past week.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Anti-landfill group seeks grand jury probe

    As more than 200 people filed into Riverton High School on Sunday to attend an anti-landfill group meeting, many stopped to sign a petition asking the Cherokee County District Court to summon a grand jury to investigate how land was acquired by the city of Galena for a proposed landfill.

    July 27, 2014

  • shoalcreekcleanup.jpg Wildcat Glades center puts on service day at Shoal Creek

    About 20 people on Saturday pulled trash out of Shoal Creek as they paddled in canoes and kayaks from Grand Falls to Zan’s Creekside Campground in Joplin.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hearts & Hammers plans annual home repair event

    Since 2003, volunteers with Hearts & Hammers of Southwest Missouri have made free improvements to more than 170 homes owned by the elderly, physically disabled, and single parent or low-income families.

    July 26, 2014

  • Money clouds farm fight

    For much of the summer, while the campaign surrounding “right to farm” has been focused on its impact on “small, family farmers,” the bulk of the money pouring into the fight has come from big agriculture interests.

    July 26, 2014

  • jameswelbornupdate.jpg Local teen completes half of solo river trip

    James Welborn, a recent Webb City High School graduate, has reached the halfway point of his solo canoe trip down the Mississippi River — just in time to celebrate his 19th birthday with family.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Neosho police warn residents of phone scam

    The Neosho Police Department has received complaints from residents saying someone impersonating a lieutenant from the Newton County Sheriff’s Office warrants division has been calling them.

    July 26, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

A new provision by the U.S. Department of Agriculture allows qualifying districts with high percentages of students on food assistance to allow all students to eat free breakfasts and lunches. Would you agree with this provision?

Yes
No
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter