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
  • 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