The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 21, 2012

Joplin Tornado First Response Fund seeks presentations on 12 requests

By Debby Woodin

— Twelve organizations that applied for grants for tornado-related programs or services from the Joplin Tornado First Response Fund will be asked to make presentations with further details of their proposals.

The fund’s board agreed by consensus Thursday morning to give further consideration to six other requests without requiring presentations.

Those advanced without presentations are the Area Agency on Aging, $40,000; the Independent Living Center, $8,000; Freeman Health System, $11,138; Legal Aid, $30,570; Economic Security Corp. for Head Start, $8,500; and Big Brothers Big Sisters, $6,285. One other request was ruled out.

The six requests that were advanced amount to $104,493 if they are funded in full. The board this round will give out $350,000 of the fund’s $808,000 balance. Board members discussed having another round of distributions later this summer or in the fall.

The Area Agency on Aging’s request is to fund the purchase of a new delivery truck for its Meals on Wheels program. According to the application, the agency’s delivery truck was destroyed in the 2011 tornado.

Fund trustees asked whether the agency had insurance on any of the loss. Board chairman Phil Stinnett contacted agency director Stan Heater, who said the agency had only liability insurance on the truck because it was old. Board members discussed the need to make meal deliveries to residents who would have to go to nursing homes without the program.

The Independent Living Center applied for $8,000 that it said would be used to buy alerting devices and provide emergency preparedness education to people with disabilities. A separate request for $6,000 to restock emergency food and cleaning supplies was turned down by the board, citing its agreement that the fund’s money would not be allocated for buying food and supplies that should be available from other sources.

An application by Freeman Health System for $11,128 was advanced. Funding was sought to buy two portable light towers that could be used for medical procedures and treatment in emergency or disaster situations.

Legal Aid of Western Missouri asked for money to continue providing legal services next year to low-income residents who could not afford an attorney to represent them on tornado-related issues. Two staff attorneys would be retained with the funding, which would cover services for about 150 of the agency’s 234 tornado cases, according to the board’s discussion.

The money for Head Start would be used to replace playground equipment that was destroyed by the storm.

The funding for Big Brothers Big Sisters would pay for services for about 16 children who were affected by the tornado.

Other agencies are to be notified that the board will hear presentations at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, June 28, at City Hall, 602 S. Main St. That is because board members want more information or have questions about details of the proposals.

Opportunities for those presentations will be offered to:

Catholic Charities, on an application for $50,000; Salvation Army, $159,162; St. Bernard Project/Rebuild Joplin, $210,000; Arc of the Ozarks, $50,000; Joplin Family Y, $36,509; city of Joplin, $250,000; Joplin Family Worship Center, $240,064; Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity, $60,000; Joplin Long-Term Recovery Committee, $100,000; American Red Cross, $77,000; Jasper County Sheltered Facilities Association/Community Support Services, $65,850; and Ozark Center, $94,000.

Application total

A TOTAL OF 35 grant applications were received, and 16 of those were ruled ineligible at a meeting earlier this month.