The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Tornado: Multimedia coverage

May 29, 2011

RESOURCE: Joplin tornado recovery Web site, RebuildJoplin.org, goes live

JOPLIN, Mo. — After successfully mobilizing community support for local schools, Bright Futures has just launched a website that will act as a clearinghouse of information both tornado victims and volunteers alike.

RebuildJoplin.org went live at shortly after noon Sunday and is meant to be “one centralized hub” of information that is supposed to connect victims with resources that range from how to get a replacement Social Security card to where to get food and supplies, according to Jerrod Hogan, the chairman of Bright Futures’ new board of directors. Those who want to give either their money or their time can find sources and venues for that kind of support.

Initiated with the support of entities that include the city of Joplin and the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, RebuildJoplin.org uses the success that Bright Futures had in enlisting community support for the schools as a template for tornado relief effort, organizers said.

“We’ve tried to condense everything in one site so it will be kind of one-stop shopping,” said Gary Burton, a former state lawmaker and a member of the board of directors.

In the schools, Bright Futures sought to create or expand partnerships with local businesses, relief agencies and faith-based organizations to help meet students’ needs. Rapid-response infrastructure, notably Facebook, that is designed to meet a student’s need within 24 hours became its signature.

Hogan said Bright Futures showed “that same model can be utilized right now” in the tornado’s aftermath.

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