The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

June 28, 2013

Volunteers continue to bolster effort to rebuild Joplin

JOPLIN, Mo. — What a difference a year makes.

“You could tell where the tornado had went through when we were here last year,’’ said Scott Lambeth, a 19-year-old from Plainview, Ill., who is on his second tour of duty as a volunteer in Joplin.

“There are houses here again,” he said. “It’s crazy.’’

Like last year, Lambeth is working with World Changers, a faith-based organization that works to improve substandard housing.

Having made two trips to Joplin, Lambeth is making a connection to the town.

“On Wednesday, we went by the house from the year before,” he said. “I do feel a bit of a connection to what I’m doing here.’’

Lambeth is among 238 students from across the nation who are working this week in Joplin. Each of them pays about $250 to participate in the program.

It appears that volunteers like Lambeth plan to continue their connection to Joplin. That’s welcome news for Rebuild Joplin and Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity, and other local support organizations that depend heavily on volunteers to help them build and repair homes.

“We were concerned about that initially after the Oklahoma tornadoes, but we are not seeing it,’’ said Doreen Finney, spokeswoman for Rebuild Joplin, who is working with World Changers.

“We had one group scheduled for the fall that has canceled,” she said. “But we are not seeing people leaving here to go out there. Those already scheduled are still coming to us.

“We have local people working, plus the people from out of town. We have repeat groups who have worked with us before. Joplin still needs them, and they know that.’’

Finney said the number of volunteers coming to Joplin more than two years after the tornado fluctuates with the seasons.

“Our numbers are down a bit for the fall, but you can expect that,” she said. “That’s when kids go back to school. It’s part of the normal ebb and flow of our volunteer base.’’

Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity has constructed 71 homes in the past two years and has 17 in the works.

“Actually, we’re still doing pretty well with our volunteers,’’ said Scott Clayton, executive director of the organization. “The interest is still there with area businesses and churches. A lot of outside groups who have been here before are coming back.

“We are very fortunate in that regard. Some of the volunteers have been here two or three times. They were part of something at the beginning and want to come back.’’

Clayton said much of the heavy lifting in terms of Joplin’s initial recovery has been done.

“Overall, we don’t need as many volunteers as we did because the production now is not as heavy,” he said. “That’s because so much has been done. Habitat for Humanity was working with volunteers before the tornado. Joplin is a community that still wants to give. We still have a lot of local volunteers.’’

The volunteers are essential to the work being done by Kate Fields, an AmeriCorps project supervisor, who is working with Lambeth and other students to complete a two-bedroom Rebuild Joplin house at 1310 E. 24th St.

“We’re getting the drywall up now,” said Fields, who moved to Joplin last year from Shawnee, Kan. “It’s starting to look like a house now. We still have a lot to do here in Joplin, but we have come a long way since the beginning.

“There is still a need here. That’s why they are still coming.’’

1
Text Only
Top Stories
  • r041614giregabby.jpg SLIDE SHOW: Teen with cystic fibrosis finds widespread support

    When the Nevada Show Choir performs its spring show on stage, it’s impossible to pick out the student with cystic fibrosis because there are no outward clues.
    Gabby Gire, 18, is just another performer. She sings, she dances, she smiles for the audience.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • 041914 Wedding1_72.jpg VIDEO: Cancer patient walks down aisle in wedding thrown by friends

    A year ago, Schandera Jordan was diagnosed with a rare form cervical cancer. And months after a radical hysterectomy, doctors confirmed the worst: The cancer had spread to her lungs and pancreas.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Enrollment open for Joplin summer school

    Enrollment is now open for the Joplin school district’s summer school session, which will run Wednesday, June 4, though Tuesday, July 1.

    April 19, 2014

  • r041814capbus4.jpg Funding shortfall could hinder public transportation in Southeast Kansas

    For the past two years, Pittsburg State University sophomore Travis Cook has been using public transportation to get to and from his classes. He began using the bus his freshman year, when he didn’t have a vehicle to drive even to the grocery store — which is said to be the case for many who use the service.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bruner denied change of venue for murder trial

    Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a change of venue for a defendant charged with fatally shooting an assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University. The attorney for Jeffrey Bruner claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking a change of venue in Jasper County Circuit Court.

    April 18, 2014

  • Russell family sues city, Joplin police

    Family members of a teenage girl whose suicide a year ago brought them into conflict with police officers and emergency medical technicians are suing the city and the Joplin Police Department. Kevin and Julissa Russell and their son, Brant Russell, are the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court. The action filed on the Russells’ behalf by Kansas City attorney Andrew Protzman names the city, the Police Department and Officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christensen as defendants.

    April 18, 2014

  • Kansas Regents stick with social media policy

    After directing a committee to study a controversial social media policy and make recommended changes, the Kansas Board of Regents appears to not be changing the policy at all. It’s left some in academia baffled by why it appointed the work group in the first place.

    April 18, 2014

  • Britain Easter Pilgri_Cast.jpg SLIDESHOW: Good Friday observances around the world Around the world, Christians are coming together in observance of Good Friday, which they believe was the day Jesus was crucified. Here are some photos from Good Friday commemorations around the world.

    April 18, 2014

  • Missouri House votes to expand sales tax exemptions

    Pizza parlors, doughnut shops and even convenience stores all could be in line for a tax break on the food that they make and sell as a result of a measure moving through the Missouri Legislature.

    April 18, 2014

  • 041714 School safe rooms4_72.jpg Joplin school district readies community safe rooms for storm season

    Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos