By Andra Bryan Stefanoni
PITTSBURG, Kan. —
The Lost Photos of Joplin project has scheduled claim days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday at the Joplin Public Library, 300 S. Main St., and from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Southwest Missouri Bank Community Room, 2417 Grand Ave., in Carthage.
For nearly a year, the volunteer group, based at the First Baptist Church in Carthage, has worked to clean, archive and find owners for some 35,000 photos that were displaced by the May 22, 2011, EF-5 tornado. They have held several claim days since the project was launched, each time finding owners for a few hundred photos.
“We have given back right at 8,500 so far,” Donna Turner, who serves as the on-site coordinator of the project, said this week.
But claims have slowed in recent months, and the group hasn’t gotten a new claim for its photos since Aug. 27.
“I don’t know if it’s because there are some people who still aren’t aware of us, or if they don’t have computer access, or maybe they have moved or had other more pressing things to deal with,” Turner said.
Anyone who has lost photos may search the group’s Facebook page at facebook.com/lostphotosofjoplin, where all photos now are available for viewing. Turner advised those who might have lost photos to check it between now and the claim date, tag the found photo, and send a message with name, address and phone 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, which may be arranged by calling Turner at home at 417-358-7266, or by cell at 417-793-3921.
Although claims for lost photos have fallen off this summer, the Lost Photos of Joplin project continues to receive photos, with some turned in as recently as Sept. 2, when they received a box of 143 photos.