The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 2011 Joplin tornado

May 13, 2013

Employees of local businesses chip in again with Rebuild Joplin

Precariously perched at the top of a ladder, Jack Quinn maneuvers himself into a position where he can hammer a nail with one hand and stabilize his balance with the other.

Catching his breath, he said, “I’m pretty sure I know the reason I’m not a carpenter.”

But Quinn, a quality-control manager at Boyd Metals in Joplin, did not let the sweat in his eyes deter him from working Monday with two other Boyd Metals employees, Matt Cole and Stephen Crane, on a Rebuild Joplin house at 106 Sergeant Ave.

He and his co-workers are participating in Rebuild Joplin’s first “Business Week.” Workers from Boyd Metals, Macadoodles, Empire District Electric Co., Mercy Health System, Frank Fletcher Toyota, Southwest Missouri Bank, Farmer’s Insurance and Con-way Truckload are teaming up to work on four Rebuild Joplin houses this week.

That’s because there are no volunteers coming to Joplin this week.

“This is an unusual week,” said Doreen Finnie, development director with Rebuild Joplin. “We had a hundred volunteers last week, and we have a hundred volunteers coming next week, but none this week. We think it’s because of graduations.”

To fill in the gap and ensure that work continues on the houses, Rebuild Joplin asked some local businesses if they could help.

“We thought, how about Boyd Metals?” she said. “They came on board, and so did the others. You know, Joplin’s business community has been so willing to step up and help in every part of the recovery.”

Some local businesses, such as Southwest Missouri Bank, have contributed up to 2,500 hours to Rebuild Joplin.

The workers get their marching orders and instructions from Halley Hunt, an AmeriCorps site supervisor, who has been trained in the art of house construction.

“Our training is that we build a house together,” she said. “Whatever we ask a volunteer to do, we have done ourselves.”

For Stephen Crane, assistant general manager at Boyd Metals, the value of working on the house with his co-workers cannot be overstated.

“Talk about team building,” he said. “You can do so much better at that when you are away from work. You’re working hand-in-hand and side-by-side with someone to help someone else who really needs the help. You’re blessed when you do that.”

The home in Joplin’s historic Murphysburg district is being renovated for a single mother of two children who lost her uninsured home in the 2011 tornado.

The house was in such poor condition that passersby told workers at the site to burn it rather than repair it.

“It was in really bad shape when we started,” said Hunt. “The house was sagging 1 1/2 feet to 2 feet on one side because the foundation was bad. But it’s going to be really beautiful when it’s done.”

So far, Rebuild Joplin has reconstructed about 74 houses in the nearly two years since the tornado. Another 15 houses are in the works, said Finnie.

Text Only
May 2011 Joplin tornado
  • Local new-home construction catches up to previous pace

    After a slow start early in this fiscal year for Joplin, the construction of new houses has resumed at the pace that existed in fiscal year 2013, when permits for new houses averaged more than 16 per month. Since November, the beginning of Joplin’s fiscal year, permits for 118 houses have been issued for a total cost of $12.8 million. The average value has been about $108,000.

    June 11, 2014

  • 052212 unity walk1_72.jpg SLIDESHOW: One year later, One day of unity, updated Photos from a day of events commemorating the May 22, 2011 tornado anniversary

    May 22, 2012 1 Photo

  • 060314 Farmers rebuild 1_72.jpg Farmers Insurance writes manual based on experience from Joplin disaster recovery

    Joplin’s housing recovery from the 2011 tornado is one for the books. Jeff Dailey, CEO of Farmers Insurance, announced Tuesday that not only will Farmers Insurance stick with Rebuild Joplin to repair and replace the homes left on the local group’s waiting list, but the company also will kick off a similar recovery effort today for the city of Sea Bright, New Jersey, based on a book it has written to expedite disaster recovery that is based on its experience in Joplin.

    June 3, 2014 2 Photos

  • r052214butterflygarden.jpg New park feature opens on tornado anniversary to encourage healing

    Cunningham Park has become an emotional place for Pamela Praytor. The name of her son, Christopher Lucas, is engraved on a monument that stands in the park in memory of the 161 people who were killed in the May 2011 tornado. “Even though I cry when I come, it’s OK,” she said. “It’s part of the healing.”

    May 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • r051214greenbldgs3.jpg Home, business cited as examples of energy efficiency, strength

    Ramona and Charles “Hugh’’ Shields were not the least bit reluctant on Monday to open their new house in the tornado zone to a bunch of strangers who had a lot of questions. “I used to live in a house where I had to wear two pairs of socks in the winter to keep my feet warm — not anymore,’’ said Ramona Shields. “This house is nice and warm in the winter, and nice and cool in the summer.’’

    May 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mercy Health System to receive $23 million FEMA grant

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide Mercy Health System of Joplin with $23 million in public assistance funding by the end of the year. The disaster relief was announced Friday by U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

    April 25, 2014

  • Respond With Love flower.jpg Joplin pays it forward with flowers; residents asked to return bulbs ‘fostered’ for other towns

    Suzan Morang’s front yard bloomed brightly last year from a colorful array of bulbs that she will happily pass on to someone else this year. Morang, 1207 Xenia Court, is a participant in America Responds With Love, a national nonprofit organization that distributes bulbs to disaster-stricken cities.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Creator of Joplin-based ‘Dear World’ exhibit features Boston bombing victims in new work

    The messages written on the skin of some Boston Marathon victims may be different, but Joplin residents will recognize the handwriting. Robert X. Fogarty, the creator of the “Dear World: From Joplin with Love” exhibit, took his signature style of photography and inspiration to Boston. Fogarty traveled to Joplin in 2011 and took pictures of community members with inspirational messages written on their bodies in black ink.

    April 21, 2014

  • r041414wildwood.jpg Opening of nursing home another recovery milestone

    Gladys Dutton has done a lot of things in her life, but Monday’s dedication of the Communities at Wildwood Ranch nursing home marked a first. “I’ve never cut a ribbon before,” she said. “I hope I do a good job.” Dutton was one of four residents to participate in the opening of the $8.5 million nursing center that eventually will be home to 120 people.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joplin Redevelopment Corp. preparing for first property sale

    The first sale of property from the Joplin Redevelopment Corp. to Wallace Bajjali Development Partners is scheduled for May 16. The city staff will be working to prepare for that sale, it was discussed on Tuesday at a meeting of the JRC.

    April 9, 2014

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