The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

July 30, 2012

$350,000 in tornado grants distributed to 14 agencies

Safe rooms, counseling, staffing among efforts supported by donations

JOPLIN, Mo. — Representatives of 14 local agencies were presented a combined $350,000 in grant money Monday from the Joplin First Response Tornado Fund.

The money was donated to the city after the 2011 tornado for local recovery assistance.

Phil Stinnett, chairman of the board that heard the grant requests and decided how much to award, praised the variety of requests that he said were innovative and represented diverse needs.

“We will see benefits go to children, students, people with disabilities and seniors,” Stinnett said.

Applications were received from organizations that started as a result of the tornado, some that were not highly visible before the storm, and those that were already well known. “All of them had to increase their activities and the scope of what they had to do to help recover from the tornado. We were intrigued by the creativity these organizations have displayed,” in rendering aid, he said.

Stinnett also said that Joplin residents and tornado survivors owe gratitude to the organizations and nonprofit groups that stepped up to serve those who were rendered homeless, injured, traumatized or developed other needs as a result of the EF-5 tornado on May 22, 2011.

“We couldn’t do what we do without your help,” said Julie Guillebeau, Debby Woodin 7/30/12 stet of Arc of the Ozarks, about the work of the fund’s trustees.

The ceremony took place at City Hall.

Stinnett said that the board will meet again in September to start talking about making another round of grant applications. The fund will have a balance of about $450,000 after the current grants are paid.

“Some of the needs may change and we need to give it a little time to see how that plays out,” Stinnett said.

Recipients are:

• Area Agency on Aging, $40,000, for a new Meals on Wheels delivery truck to replace one destroyed in the storm.

• Independent Living Center, $8,000, for warning devices and education on disaster preparation for  people with disabilities.

• Freeman Health System, $11,000, for portable lights that can be used at disaster locations for medical procedures.

• Legal Aid of Western Missouri, $20,000, to help pay for attorneys working on cases resulting for tornado problems.

• Economic Security Corp., $4,000, for playground equipment to serve children affected by the storm.

• Big Brothers Big Sisters, $6,000, for program expenses related to affected children.

• Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri, $30,000, to provide appliances for people who do not have resources to replace those lost in the storm.

• St. Bernard Project/Rebuild Joplin, $50,000, for a staff salary related to home construction.

• Arc of the Ozarks, $25,000, toward construction of a duplex for disabled residents.

• Joplin Family Y, $36,000, to pay staffing for an after-school program for children still affected by storm trauma.

• Joplin Family Worship, $50,000, to provide food and housing for volunteers working in the storm zone and assistance to affected families.

• Joplin Long-Term Recovery Committee, $25,000, to obtain furnishings and appliances for affected residents.

• Ozark Center, $30,000, to help start a service that will allow teens to text counselors for emotional assistance.

• Community Support Services, Jasper County Sheltered Facilities, $15,000, for a residential safe room for disabled residents.

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