The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

November 24, 2012

Juvenile system officer organizes group to assist in storm recovery

JOPLIN, Mo. — April Foulks remembers clearly the day she was told by Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity it would take $50,000 to sponsor a home build. It was almost exactly a year ago.

She thought, “That sounds like a lot. There’s no way we can raise that.”

But she also remembers clearing debris last summer for a co-worker who lived on Grand Avenue and thinking it would take years to clean up the tornado zone.

On both counts, she underestimated a bit.

The tornado zone was clean that fall, and by this fall the group that came to be known as the Justice League had raised $50,000 with which to sponsor the home at 2630 S. Wall Ave.

“It took a golf tournament, dinner, dance and silent auction, and a lot of asking friends and family,” said Foulks, who lives in Webb City and works in the Jasper County Juvenile Court office.

Foulks used to work at the Joplin Police Department, and her husband, Derek Walrod, is a captain with the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department.

They reached out to those they knew in the judicial system and law enforcement in surrounding communities.

“It took everyone knowing someone,” she said.

It also took stepping outside her comfort zone and learning new things.

“Only one of us on the committee had actually ever played golf. I had driven a beer cart at several tournaments, but other than that, we were green,” she said.

The same was true of building a home.

“A group of 15 of us put on the siding,” she said. “There were only two guys and the rest girls, and we had to have a lesson and a prayer in the middle of it because we were making some mistakes. But we laughed and got to know each other, and had a good time.”

There also was a learning curve when it came to scheduling volunteers.

“We might have a group of four needed to put in windows, for example, or tomorrow we’ll need six volunteers to help put soffits in,” she said. “I basically send out an email statewide to everyone connected with justice or law enforcement — every court in the state of Missouri gets a notification. Then I organize those who reply for work days.”

The challenge to managing it all is that this is her busiest time of year as a juvenile officer and as the mother of three sons all involved in fall sports.

But she said she’s gained a lot in return.

“No matter how your life is going, how many stressors you have, you walk away from this at the end of the day and you say, ‘I made a difference that day,’” she said.

Now, she’s focused on passing that feeling on to the juveniles with whom she interacts.

“When they say they don’t have friends or interests in sports or other activities, I’ve encouraged them to stop and look around. There are so many associations, so many nonprofits, and I tell them to take some time and go meet them. I say, ‘You might find there is something inside you that connects with one of those places and what they’re trying to achieve,’” she said.

Involvement

April Foulks’ involvement in Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity led her to joining the organization’s Fund Development Committee, which is planning a 5K race next April and a golf tournament next October.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Embezzler from Joplin car dealerships sent to prison

    A federal judge has sentenced Kathryn M. Stayton to 13 months in prison for embezzling more than $100,000 from Frank Fletcher Ford and Credit Cars of Joplin. U.S. District Judge Greg Kays assessed the 36-year-old Joplin woman the prison term at a sentencing hearing this week in federal court in Springfield. The judge also ordered the former controller at both car dealerships to pay restitution totaling $121,249. 51.

    April 18, 2014

  • Screening of MSSU presidential applicants to wrap by end of April

    The Board of Governors at Missouri Southern State University could be in a position to name a president as early as the end of June, according to a timeline presented Friday by the co-chair of the presidential search committee.

    April 18, 2014

  • Teams from Carl Junction, Diamond advance in Destination Imagination

    Student teams from Carl Junction and Diamond will be traveling to Destination Imagination finals May 20-24 in Knoxville, Tenn., after being top finishers in competition this month at Missouri Southern State University.

    April 18, 2014

  • Neosho Dogwood Tour reset, after false start

    The 53rd annual Neosho Dogwood Tour will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 27. The event, presented by the Neosho Rotary Club and the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce, originally was scheduled for Sunday, April 13.

    April 18, 2014

  • r041814capbus4.jpg Funding shortfall could hinder public transportation in Southeast Kansas

    For the past two years, Pittsburg State University sophomore Travis Cook has been using public transportation to get to and from his classes. He began using the bus his freshman year, when he didn’t have a vehicle to drive even to the grocery store — which is said to be the case for many who use the service.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bruner denied change of venue for murder trial

    Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a change of venue for a defendant charged with fatally shooting an assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University. The attorney for Jeffrey Bruner claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking a change of venue in Jasper County Circuit Court.

    April 18, 2014

  • Russell family sues city, Joplin police

    Family members of a teenage girl whose suicide a year ago brought them into conflict with police officers and emergency medical technicians are suing the city and the Joplin Police Department. Kevin and Julissa Russell and their son, Brant Russell, are the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court. The action filed on the Russells’ behalf by Kansas City attorney Andrew Protzman names the city, the Police Department and Officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christensen as defendants.

    April 18, 2014

  • Kansas Regents stick with social media policy

    After directing a committee to study a controversial social media policy and make recommended changes, the Kansas Board of Regents appears to not be changing the policy at all. It’s left some in academia baffled by why it appointed the work group in the first place.

    April 18, 2014

  • Pittsburg Farmer's Market to open in new building, new location

    The official market season in Pittsburg, Kan., will kick off in the market’s new pavilion-style building at a new address, 11th and Broadway, on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. Market hours will continue throughout the season on Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to noon, with some Wednesdays or other special days throughout the season as announced.

    April 18, 2014

  • 041714 School safe rooms4_72.jpg Joplin school district readies community safe rooms for storm season

    Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

A Missouri Senate committee has endorsed a 1-cent sales tax increase to fund transportation projects. The proposed constitutional amendment passed the House earlier this month. If passed by the full Senate, the measure would head to the November ballot for voter approval. Would you vote in favor of it?

Yes.
No.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter