The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 18, 2013

Rebuild Joplin’s 24-hour build part of MLK Day of Service

By Emily Younker
news@joplinglobe.com

— Rebuild Joplin will be the host for a 24-hour build Monday in conjunction with the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

Volunteers can serve in one of six four-hour shifts at a Rebuild Joplin work site beginning at 12:01 a.m. Monday and ending at 11:59 p.m. Rebuild Joplin is a nonprofit organization that constructs housing for residents displaced by the May 2011 tornado.

“We, as an organization, really value the urgency of getting people home as quickly as we can,” director Jerrod Hogan said. “Our organization exists as a result of volunteers, so we want to at least have half a dozen or more working around the clock.”

Volunteers will be spread among one to three houses in Joplin. Hogan said available tasks will depend on which site volunteers are sent to, but common work at Rebuild Joplin sites for volunteers includes painting and hanging drywall.

“Everything that we do with volunteers, you don’t have to have experience,” he said. “If somebody shows up and is willing to get their hands dirty, we’ll have some projects ready for them.”

Hogan said several openings are still available in the shift that runs from midnight to 4 a.m. Monday, but someone wanting to volunteer for any shift will not be turned away.

“We’ll expand as people show up,” he said. “We’d love to have them, and we’ll make room for them.”

To participate in the 24-hour build, one may register by calling Rebuild Joplin at 623-0065 or emailing volunteer@rebuildjoplin.org.

Those who have not registered by Monday but who still want to participate may report to the Rebuild Joplin office at Seventh Street and Illinois Avenue.

In addition to the Joplin build, a 24-hour build will also take place Monday in New Orleans for survivors of Hurricane Katrina, while a three-day disaster recovery effort will take place Saturday through Monday in New York City and Long Island, N.Y., for survivors of Superstorm Sandy.

All three efforts are supported by the St. Bernard Project, a New Orleans-based nonprofit that assists in recovery efforts for communities impacted by natural disaster. The St. Bernard Project is the parent organization of Rebuild Joplin.

The rebuilds are part of a greater effort Monday that will honor Martin Luther King Jr. with a day dedicated to service.

“He exemplified service to others,” Hogan said of the slain civil rights leader. “What better way to be a part of that and continue to push to get people home as soon as possible?”

Shift times

Volunteer work during Rebuild Joplin’s 24-hour build on Monday will take place in six shifts: midnight to 4 a.m., 4 to 8 a.m., 8 a.m. to noon, noon to 4 p.m., 4 to 8 p.m., and 8 p.m. to midnight.