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Volunteers Continue Recovery Efforts in Joplin

Brian Kelly
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Getty/Mario Tama

Getty/Mario Tama

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JOPLIN, Mo. (KMOX)-Hundreds of volunteers are working with the The United Way and AmeriCorps in Joplin on this Memorial Day, trying to help that tornado ravaged city continue on the long road to recovery.

AmeriCorps-St. Louis director Bruce Bailey says among the efforts underway today, is a multi-agency resource fair, which he says is a one-stop-shop for impacted families, “They can go and get some immediate help, even  financial help with smaller emergency needs. They can access mental health services. Starting tomorrow they can have lost food stamps replaced.”  The fair will continue all week.

Bailey says volunteers are also going into neighborhoods, trying to sort out the debris that needs to be removed, burned or salvaged.

Bailey says about 6,000 volunteers helped in Joplin last week. Nearly 800 were on hand by mid-morning Monday, including soldiers from Fort Leonard Wood.

He says President Obama’s assurance Sunday, that the nation will be there for Joplin until the city gets back on its feet again, has boosted spirits there, “That reassurance has been very important to people here. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from residents I’ve been working with about that.”

Bailey says after today the volunteer efforts will shift a little, become more coordinated, “Amongst many, many organized groups that will be here helping. But there always will be an opportunity for individuals who aren’t affiliated with any group to come and be plugged in in a helping way.”

Bailey says to volunteer, call the United Way at 2-1-1 or click here.   He says you should be as self-sufficient as possible, because there are few places to stay and most of the available food goes to storm victims.

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