The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 30, 2013

Joplin family grateful to ‘guardian angels’ for new home

By Debby Woodin

JOPLIN, Mo. — Maria Socorro Rodriguez credits her “guardian angels” for giving her and her three daughters a home again.

The Rodriguez family survived the 2011 tornado in a closet and could salvage only a stock pot and one bag of belongings from the rubble of their home. Today they are moving into a new home built for them at the site of their old house. It was made possible because of donations from St. Mary’s Catholic Church and the St. Vincent de Paul Society working with Springfield-based Convoy of Hope.

“We’re so excited,” said daughter Karina Rodriguez, 17.

Maria Socorro Rodriguez, who speaks little English, said through her daughters that she is grateful to John and Mary Olson of the St. Vincent De Paul Society for the help they received. She describes the Olsons as her “guardian angels” and she said she also is grateful to God and to the construction workers and volunteers who helped build the new home at 2320 Kentucky Ave.

Olson said contributors from 28 states sent donations to the local St. Vincent de Paul Society, which enabled it to help 600 tornado-stricken residents such as the Rodriguez family.