By Andra Bryan Stefanoni
CARTHAGE, Mo. —
The Lost Photos of Joplin project has scheduled another claim day for victims of the May 22, 2011, tornado who are trying to recover personal photographs. The claim day will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Joplin Public Library, 300 S. Main St.
The last claim day held by the group netted a return of 555 photos displaced by the tornado, but since then, “things have really slowed down,” said Donna Turner, who coordinates claim days for the group. She estimates between 21,000 and 22,000 unclaimed photos remain in the archives at the First Baptist Church in Carthage, where the group is headquartered.
Anyone who lost photos in the tornado may search the group’s new website at www.NationalDisasterPhotoRescue.net, where all photos are available for viewing.
Those who lost photos should check the site between now and the claim date, tag the photos, and send a message with their name, address and telephone number to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those who are unable to do so or lack Internet access may look through copies of each and every photo in binders made by the group. Those visits may be arranged by calling Donna Turner at 417-358-7266, or by cell at 417-793-3921.
More than 35,000 photos have been collected as part of the Lost Photos of Joplin Project, and more than 13,000 have been returned to about 250 different families. Photos from Joplin were collected as far away as Springfield following the 2011 tornado.