By Ryan Richardson
DUENEWEG, Mo. —
Duenweg firefighters received a $9,000 grant this week from the Joplin Recovery Fund in connection with their work in the aftermath of the May 2011 tornado.
The grant was presented Monday night by Stephanie Howard, president of the Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri, during a Duenweg Fire Protection District meeting. The foundation, an affiliate of Community Foundation of the Ozarks, manages the Joplin Recovery Fund
“They have been an amazing asset to us,” said fire department driver Jeff Littrell of the network of community organizations. “We really appreciate their services to help support us and the community. Something like this would not be possible on our limited budget.”
In the wake of the devastating storm, the Duenweg firefighters were working around the clock for three days. “It was a long week,” Littrell said. “But we knew what needed to be done.”
Howard said that even a year and a half after the tornado grant requests such as that of the department still come through the office regularly.
“The Joplin Recovery Fund is still our top priority,” Howard said. “The requests aren’t a wave like they were, but they are still steady, and we still try to have a quick turnaround to get the money back in the community. This still shows that there are people and businesses that still need help getting through everything, and that’s what we are here for.”
The average turnaround from request to fulfillment is about two months.
“We try and keep the process short and streamlined, but we still have to make sure everything works out from our end,” Howard said.
Even though the requests have slowed down to a degree, the fund is still receiving regular contributions.
“It’s amazing how many donations we are still getting a year and a half later. We are still going really strong, and the community is coming out for the better.”
Jeff Littrell, a driver for the Duenweg department, said that the grant will be used to purchase new boots.