The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

April 22, 2012

Spirit of residents, volunteers lauded as rebuilding continues

JOPLIN, Mo. — Eleven months after the May 22 tornado, the spirit of volunteers continues through Joplin’s rebuilding efforts.

“I would say volunteer interest is still incredibly high,” Scott Clayton, executive director of Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity, said last week.

“There are a lot of times where unskilled labor can assist, and that’s going to be great,” Clayton said. “But if you’re a framer, if you have some kind of professional skills and you’re looking to help Habitat, give us a call. We’d like to put you to work.

“After the tornado, a lot of people were pretty much taken aback about what happened to our city. Slowly but surely, through months of organization and thousands of good people, we’re in the stage now where we need to build. Habitat for Humanity will be building a lot more houses than we ever have before, but that’s what our role is, and we’re prepared to meet that with the partnerships of so many people. We’re excited, and God willing, we’re going to have a tremendous amount of production.”

Clayton was working at 24th Street and Wall Avenue last Wednesday when Energizer and Habitat for Humanity launched a 13-city tour in which volunteers will donate more than $350,000 and 1,000 hours. Special guests in Joplin were a 10-foot tall, pink Energizer Bunny and Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., who became known as baseball’s Energizer Bunny while breaking major league baseball’s consecutive game streak in the 1990s.

Ripken and Energizer’s “bunny brigade” worked on a home, and the volunteers later canvassed the neighborhood and distributed home power kits that included tips and products promoting energy efficiency.

Elaine Sosnowski, general manager of Energizer lighting products, noticed a big difference in Joplin from last July, when she came from St. Louis to assist with cleanup efforts.

“What I saw back then was there was a lot of cleanup going on,” she said. “What I saw (Wednesday) that was very different was it was rebuilding.

“This feels like the rebirth. You can still see what had happened, but the environment and the whole atmosphere feels so much more positive. You see that it’s flat, but it’s like OK, we’ve brushed away the old and the bad, and we’re building on this fertile ground for the future.”

Ripken became involved with Energizer six years ago and became the company’s first inductee into the Energizer Bunny Hall of Fame, which honors individuals for exceptional community service.

Last November, Ripken went to Japan to conduct baseball and softball clinics, and he saw the damage caused by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

“I had a chance to witness the scale of devastation and the way it affected the Japanese people,” he said. “There is a similarity to this here. You couldn’t fathom the devastation until you’ve been here, and this is almost a year later.

“But I’m still amazed at the human spirit. The human spirit says: ‘OK, stuff happens. It was a horrible thing, but let’s move on and let’s rebuild.’”

‘A real need’

“WE’RE GOING TO DO OUR BEST to get everybody involved with working, but I would say if we had a real need, it would be the more skilled labor we could get would be tremendous,” said Scott Clayton, executive director of Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity.

Text Only
Local News
  • Ruling modifies gas rates; MGE says bills to remain the about same

    An agreement to settle a Missouri Gas Energy rate change will modify the company’s various rates, but the net bill to consumers will remain largely the same, according to statements released Thursday by the gas company and the state’s utility regulatory agency.

    April 24, 2014

  • Railroad conducts training session; law enforcement officers work on crossing enforcement

    Joplin police and Missouri State Highway Patrol officers trained Thursday and will continue today on railroad crossing safety with Kansas City Southern Railway Co. The annual event, called “Officer on a Train,” puts law enforcement officers in the locomotive cab to give them a real-time view of how motorists and pedestrians approach train crossings through the city. The event began Thursday morning on tracks crossing Fourth Street near Murphy Boulevard.

    April 24, 2014

  • East Newton High student designated semifinalist in Presidential Scholars Program

    An East Newton High School student is among eight Missouri students who have been named semifinalists in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program for their outstanding academic achievement. George Bennion, a senior from Stark City, said he was “super excited” when he was notified of his selection as a semifinalist.

    April 24, 2014

  • 042314 Rec funding Build a Lion_72.jpg Missouri Southern students to vote on new fee, going smoke-free

    Students at Missouri Southern State University will vote next week on whether they support creating a fee that would fund athletic and recreation projects. During the annual student senate-sponsored spring election, students also will be asked whether they support a completely tobacco-free campus.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • New Kansas gun law draws support, some reservations

    At John’s Sports Center in Pittsburg on Thursday, firearms manager Adam Gariglietti said he supported Gov. Sam Brownback’s decision to sign a bill that will ensure it is legal across the state to openly carry firearms. But, he offered some words of caution. “It’s great that he signed the bill,” Gariglietti said. “But at the same time, common sense goes a long way.”

    April 24, 2014

  • Baxter Springs chili feed to raise money for family of girl facing surgery

    On a Sunday morning in February, 9-year-old Izzy Morris woke up her mother complaining of a headache. Teresa Morris gave her daughter medicine. But an hour later, the headache had worsened. “She was in a lot of pain and started screaming and yelling uncontrollably,” Morris said.

    April 24, 2014

  • Carthage budget committee hears proposal for water, sewer rate increases

    The proposed budget for the Carthage Water & Electric Plant, including increases in water and wastewater rates, dominated discussions Thursday night as the Carthage Budget Ways and Means Committee continued its review of proposed city budgets for the fiscal year starting July 1.

    April 24, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Self-driving cars mean not having to teach teens to drive

    I may be wasting my time trying to teach my 16-year-old daughter, Emma, how to drive.
    According to The Washington Post, self-driving cars are on the way. What used to be a dream of bored engineers has now become something that certain car companies are taking seriously.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • World Tai Chi Day to be celebrated on Saturday

    At least two communities in the area will be celebrating World Tai Chi Day Saturday with outdoor events at area parks.

    April 24, 2014

  • Groundbreaking set for MSSU residence hall complex

    A groundbreaking ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, April 28, for the new residence hall complex at Missouri Southern State University.

    April 24, 2014

Must Read


What’s your favorite tree?

A. Maple
B. Oak
C. Dogwood
D. Redbud
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter