"It is the duty of every citizen of Joplin to attend, to contribute according to his means. ... Will you do your duty?"
That call went out in Joplin just hours after the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906, when the mayor, C.W. Lyon, called a public meeting at the Commercial Club to organize aid.
"Joplin is reveling in prosperity," he noted. "Fate has been exceptionally good to us and we should contribute our (might) toward the relief fund."
It wasn't the first time Joplin had stepped up after a natural disaster elsewhere in the country. This community had organized aid after the Great Storm of 1900, when a hurricane hit Galveston, killing thousands. More recently, Joplin organized help after Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, leaving thousands dead in 2013.
Joplin has always responded with money, blood and muscle after natural disasters, and now is a moment to pay it forward again. Hurricane Dorian, one of the most powerful storms to hit the East Coast, is leaving much damage in its wake. People and communities are going to need help.
Of course, we have been on the receiving end of this kind of generosity, too, most notably after the 2011 tornado, when millions of dollars from both public and private sources, coupled with 100,000 volunteers, were needed to get Joplin off of its knees.
Yes, fate remains good to us.
Only a few short years after that tornado, we are in a position to help again.
Let's be grateful for that, count our blessings and loosen our purse strings, and let's pray that fate remains good, and that the day never comes when we are unable to help.