The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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March 19, 2014

$150,000 gift a game changer for Rebuild Joplin waiting list

JOPLIN, Mo. — Hammers pounded nails Wednesday morning as the framing went up for a new Rebuild Joplin house at 2401 S. Murphy Ave.

With the house as a backdrop, the Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church presented a $150,000 check to Rebuild Joplin to help keep those hammers busy this summer.

“This is a game changer for Rebuild Joplin,” said Thomas Corley, spokesman for the group. “People, like the family who will live here, are still trying to get home after the tornado.

“This will reassure these families that people are still fighting for them.”

Corley said Rebuild Joplin will seek to raise an equivalent amount of money from other corporate, foundation or individual sources, doubling the impact.

The symbolic check was presented by Aaron Brown, pastor of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, who said: “The Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church believes in Rebuild Joplin and what it is doing. It’s a perfect partnership.

“Three years out from the tornado, it’s easy to forget that people are not home yet.”

Corley said the home that is being constructed at 24th Street and Murphy Avenue is for a woman, her fiance and their five children. They had lived at the site before the tornado. Their property was underinsured. The money from the insurance settlement was used to pay off the mortgage.

“They have been living with family since the tornado,” Corley said. “We started working with them a month ago, and now we have a Mennonite crew at work on their new house.”

Corley said Rebuild Joplin has 70 projects to complete this year. Of those, 12 have been finished.

“We have eight projects in the works and 10 lined up, but we don’t have the money for them,” he said. “This money will help us clear the waiting list.”

Rebuild Joplin’s mission is to shorten and improve the long-term recovery for residents affected by natural disaster who are in need of safe and affordable housing. Rebuild Joplin uses innovative steps to rebuild homes quickly and efficiently through both paid employees and volunteers, including war veterans, AmeriCorps members, and skilled and unskilled community members.

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