The Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks opened its first office in Joplin on Thursday at 701 S. Byers Ave.
About two dozen people attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony staged at the office by representatives of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce.
Crystal Webster, executive director of the Springfield-based foundation, said, “We now have a physical presence in Joplin because of incredible support from the area.”
The foundation, launched in 1999, named Kristi Seibert, of Joplin, as outreach director in 2011, but it did not provide her with an office as a way to minimize expenses.
“I was working out of my garage and my home,” Seibert said. “Now, we have everything in one place.”
The new space includes a room where local board meetings can be held, and it will serve as a staging area for the foundation’s annual Pink Ribbon Gala, which will be held July 25 in Joplin.
“The volunteers can gather here and get our work done,” Seibert said. “The community has embraced our mission and has made this happen.”
The foundation reaches out to people who have been affected by breast cancer, and seeks to reduce the physical, financial and emotional burdens of breast cancer on the communities served by the group. It provides emotional support and short-term, nonmedical financial help after diagnosis to those with a demonstrated financial need. That assistance could help cover mortgage or rent payments, utility bills and other day-to-day expenses so that the affected women can have time for recovery.
In addition, the foundation can help with the cost of new tires for someone driving a distance to daily radiation treatments, along with car insurance, gas to drive to and from treatment, and propane for heat.
The foundation does not assist with medical, cable, phone or credit card bills.