The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

July 26, 2013

Red Cross trailer to be given to Pittsburg Service Center

From staff reports
news@joplinglobe.com

PINEVILLE, Mo. — A Red Cross trailer will be delivered soon to the Pittsburg Service Center, allowing volunteers to transport shelter cots, pillows, blankets and other supplies in times of disaster.

The trailer had been scheduled for delivery Friday, but was delayed by the rain.

Jonathan Tower, disaster coordinator for the Parsons Service Center who taught shelter operations in Pittsburg during the past year, applied for the grant from the Union Pacific Foundation for trailers to be located in Cherokee and Crawford counties.

“Union Pacific Railroad has been generous, funding grants for many different items during the years I have been requesting them,” Tower said.

That foundation provides grants to nonprofit organizations in the 22 states in which the railroad operates. It is granting $8 million to fund needs identified by high school principals and nonprofit organizations.

The trailer will be parked, at least temporarily, at the Salvation Army building.

“Capt. Gary Gugala of the Salvation Army has been very cooperative and agreed to help us in this way,” said Pam Gilchrist, Red Cross manager of the Pittsburg Service Center. “We’re glad to partner with the Salvation Army. The Red Cross will be able to provide disaster shelters with Salvation Army’s assistance in feeding. This relationship is symbolized today by parking our trailer next to their canteen vehicle.”

Tower also plans to go to the Red Cross storage site in Wichita to get more shelter supplies if any are needed for Crawford County.

The Red Cross service center in Pittsburg also is supported by the United Way of Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas.

Gilchrist said a person or business with a truck that could accommodate a two-inch ball hitch is needed, along with a volunteer to transport the Red Cross trailer when disasters occur. They also are looking for a more sheltered location to protect the new trailer under a roof or in a garage, she said.

Those who might be able to accommodate Gilchrist’s requests should call the Red Cross office at 620-235-1436.