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How you can help: Local organizations seek volunteers, donations for tornado victims

May 25, 2011|by KY3 News |

JOPLIN, Mo. -- The State Emergency Management Agency is working with state and local agencies to deploy all available response resources following the deadly tornado that ripped through the city on Sunday evening.  Search and rescue and other emergency operations likely will continue through the night.

The Greater Ozarks Chapter of the Red Cross has established a shelter at Missouri Southern State University, 3950 East Newman Road. The shelter facility is the Leggett and Platt Athletic Center. The facility can also accommodate pets.

Missourians interested in volunteering to assist should call (417) 625-3543.  Volunteers wanting to donate items can call (417) 625-3542.  Volunteer groups (churches, businesses, etc.) should call (314) 623-991, (800) 427-4626 or 2-1-1.  Those with medical skills interested in volunteering should go to:

Some of the tasks available to volunteers are:

  • clean up debris in neighborhoods
  • search lines to locate victims
  • hospitality volunteers to work on campus at MSSU assisting first responders and fellow volunteers
  • help clean the police and fire building at 303 E. Third
  • work at City Hall to help residents and businesses with completing the FEMA disaster assistance applications;
  • sorting debris once it is collected.
Volunteers who wish to assist with cleanup efforts will be staged and dispatched from the recration center at MSSU.  Updates are available at the city's Facebook page.

Missourians wishing to make donations to help with the relief effort also can go to .

Residents affected by the tornado who wish to notify their friends and family that they are safe should go to:  Friends and family who would like to check on their loved ones in the affected area can use the same site.

Missourians who need disaster information, shelter information or referrals are urged to call 2-1-1.  The United Way's 211 service number is now available for most areas in Missouri.  In areas where the 211 number is not operational, citizens can call 800-427-4626.

United Way of the Ozarks in Springfield is waiting to hear plans from the American Red Cross – Greater Ozarks Chapter regarding mobilizing volunteer efforts.  As soon as it has confirmation on how and where to volunteer, it will release that information.

If you would like to help with a monetary donation, please send your checks to United Way of the Ozarks, 320 N. Jefferson Ave., Springfield, MO  65806,  marked  JOPLIN TORNADO DISASTER RELIEF and all funds received will be distributed to the United Way of Southwest Missouri (Joplin).


Banks in the area are collecting monetary donations, which totaled more than $35,000 by Wednesday. They include:

-Guaranty Bank (matching $2,500 corporate donation)
-Liberty Bank
-Bancorp South
-Empire Bank (will also match up to $5,000 in donations received)
-Great Southern (will also match up to $5,000 in donations received)
-Metropolitan Bank
-US Bank
-Oakstar Bank
-Liberty Bank
-Springfield First Community Bank
-Peoples Bank of the Ozarks-Old Missouri Bank


Southwest Missouri Bank set up a tornado relief account.  The bank made an initial donation of $10,000 into this account, and the money will be given to the American Red Cross to help the tornado victims.  The bank’s customers will be informed of this account and are welcome to make donations into it.


 Great Southern Bank’s facilities in Joplin at 1232 S Rangeline and 1710 E. 32nd are open for business on Monday. All customer accounts are accessible and safe deposit boxes are secure. 

Great Southern Bank locations throughout Southwest Missouri, Eastern Kansas and Northwest Arkansas will serve as a public donation site for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Customers and the general public can drop off monetary donations (cash or check) at any Great Southern Bank location. Your gift enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of this disaster.

In addition, Great Southern is contributing $10,000 to the American Red Cross in support of recovery efforts in the Joplin area.

Great Southern Bank is also encouraging their employees as well as community members to donate blood in response to the Code Red Alert issued for Type O Negative Blood by Community Blood Center of the Ozarks. For more information, please visit or your local blood bank.


Jamie McMurray, a Joplin native and NASCAR Sprint Cup driver, the Johnny Morris family and Bass Pro Shops, in conjunction with Convoy of Hope are joining forces to assist in the Joplin tornado relief efforts.  A Bass Pro Shops trailer will be loaded with relief effort supplies including canned goods donated by Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Marine associates and will be driven to the Joplin area sometime this week.  Werner Enterprises is providing the transportation.

Beginning at 10 a.m. Tuesday and continuing through next Monday, a second Bass Pro Shops trailer will be at the Bass Pro Shops parking lot, 1935 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield, where customers and area residents can make canned food product donations.  Customers may also drop off canned goods inside the Bass Pro Shops store Grand Entrance.   Local Boy Scouts will be assisting at the dropoff site where donations may be made until 8 each night.


Sunday evening, Gov. Jay Nixon activated the Missouri National Guard to respond to the area. The Missouri State Highway Patrol has also sent additional troopers to the Joplin area. The State Emergency Management Agency is helping to coordinate the deployment of search and rescue teams, a disaster medical assistance team, communications vehicles, mobile command vehicles, heavy equipment and an incident support team. The incident support team will provide support to the emergency operation center.

Missouri Task Force 1, a division of the Boone County Fire Protection District that specializes in search and rescue operation in building collapses, is one of the resources responding to Joplin. The task force uses state of the art search equipment, including visual and acoustical devices, medical equipment and K-9 search teams.=====

Springfield-based Convoy of Hope is calling on the community to rally around Joplin as it recovers from a deadly tornado. 

To make a $10 donation, you can text "convoy" to 50555 or you can make a donation directly to the Convoy of Hope website.  Standard texting and data rates apply based on your cell phone provider.


Community Blood Center of the Ozarks no longer needs blood for Joplin.  It urges donors to wait so there's enough blood to help it get through the summer.


People interested in volunteering or those trying to locate loved ones can call the AmeriCorps Volunteer Resource Center at (417) 659-5464.  The organization set up a command center at the recreation center on the Missouri Southern State University campus.

Crosslines in Joplin is also trying to coordinate the work of volunteers.  Its number is (417) 434-5425.


The American Red Cross says the best way people can help is with financial donations.  People can make a secure donation at the Red Cross website or mail them to 1545 N. West Bypass, Springfield, 65803.  The Red Cross also has a toll free number to call in a donation, 1-866-206-0256.


The Edward Jones branch office in Republic is accepting relief items for the tornado victims.   Financial advisor Jasen Fronabarger and branch office administrator Sue Walter suggest that those interested in helping should contribute items recommended by the American Red Cross.

The Edward Jones branch is at 253 W. U.S. 60, Republic.  The telephone number is (417) 732-1151.


Habitat for Humanity in Springfield has had many phone calls from people wanting to reach out and help people in Joplin.  It has been in contact with the Joplin Habitat for Humanity affiliate, which has not been able to account for all Habitat family partners.  There were three Habitat homes in the path of the tornado.  Habitat Springfield has a staff member on site assisting with search and rescue efforts.  It will use its Facebook page and website to communicate any updates that we receive. 

To assist with the recovery efforts, Habitat Springfield is collecting items such as water, blankets, toiletry items, food, batteries, medical supplies, etc.  Please bring items to the ReStore located at 2410 S. Scenic Ave.  It will deliver the items to a central location/drop-off point in Joplin.

The focus for volunteers now is on search and rescue only.  Only volunteers who have experience in this area should volunteer at this time.  If you have medical training, please go directly to the Recreation Center on the campus of Missouri Southern University in Joplin. 

If you have experience with search and rescue efforts, Habitat has a group of people that will depart the ReStore at 2410 S. Scenic Ave. at 8 a.m. Tuesday.  Contact Tommy Hawkins at (417) 829-4001 if interested.  Please note, search and rescue efforts can be very traumatic on individuals - please consider this before volunteering.


The Byron E. Taylor Christian Service Center of Aurora is taking donations for the tornado victims and will be taking a trip up there on Monday evening.  Items requested are blankets, clothing, hygiene products, sandwich bags, gloves, bottled water, canned foods (preferibly with pop top), peanut butter, etc.  Call (417) 678-4600.


Ozarks Food Harvest secured six truckloads of food items and supplies that will be delivered to the affected area this week.  Donations are still needed and can be delivered to The Food Bank at 2810 N. Cedarbrook Ave. in Springfield.  Monetary donations are also requested at this time and can be made securely online at or to OFH, Attn: Joplin Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 5746, Springfield, MO 65801-5746.

The Food Bank requests that community members donate easy-open, ready-to-eat nonperishable food items, or canned goods and can openers.  Snacks such as crackers and granola bars are needed.  There is a demand for all types of personal hygiene items, including diapers, and paper products such as paper plates, eating utensils, paper towels and toilet paper.  Cleaning supplies are also accepted.  Water bottles are not a priority from donors at this time.

Ozarks Food Harvest is working with the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to coordinate additional donation deliveries.  Ozarks Food Harvest’s sister food bank in Kansas City, Harvesters, is sending donations directly to Joplin.  The food bank in Columbia is delivering donations to Harvesters.  The food bank in Cape Girardeau is sending donations to Ozarks Food Harvest.

Donations for Joplin relief can be delivered to Ozarks Food Harvest between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. through this week and beyond. (Map:

“We are working closely with our member agency in Carthage this morning, the Carthage Crisis Center, who has already delivered two truckloads to Joplin,” said Bart Brown, president/CEO at Ozarks Food Harvest. “The Wildwood Baptist Church in Joplin, another partner of ours, is currently serving as a triage. We have yet to reach all member pantries and sites in Joplin.”


To help Joplin-area residents who are staying in the Springfield area as a result of the tornado, the Springfield-Greene County Library District will waive the $1 computer pass fee for anyone from the Joplin or Jasper/Newton County areas who visit any of the 10 library district branches. 

It’s one way the library can help displaced residents reconnect with family members, coworkers and neighbors if they have lost access to phone service, computers and Internet.

“They may very well be staying in Springfield until they can return home,” said district Associate Director Jim Schmidt. “It’s an easy, simple gesture of sympathy.”

In addition, those residents staying temporarily in the Springfield area will also qualify for “limited address” cards, which allow them limited checkout privileges and access to other library services including reserving titles.  

Library staff members are also raising money to benefit Joplin-area residents through the American Red Cross.  In “Jeans for Joplin,” library staff members who make a minimum $5 donation to the Red Cross may wear jeans to work on either Friday or Saturday, or both, May 26 and 27.


Springfield Paper Company, 412 N National, Springfield, is collecting non-perishable food items, bottled water, toiletries, clothes (must be in boxes).  For information, contact Kevin at (417) 379-0533 or


Sonic Drive In restaurants in Springfield will hold a benefit on Tuesday, May 24, from 4 to 9 p.m.  They will donate 10 percent of gross sales to the Joplin tornado relief.


Rountree Elementary School third grade students decided to help vicitms of the tornado. At the end of their photography gallery show on Thursday night, students offer their gallery photos for silent auction. All of the proceeds will benefit the recent tornado victims. The gallery showing will take place at Rountree, 1333 E. Grand St., on Thursday night, 6:30-7:30.  Silent auction winners will be announced at the conclusion of the event.  The title of their gallery showing is "Visual media promotes social change."


Harvest on Wheels asks people to throw some non-perishable food, paper products, etc., into a few boxes and contact it at and one of our volunteers will come pick up the donation and deliver to Ozarks Food Harvest for immediate delivery to Joplin.

For those outside this area, it asks for donations to Ozarks Food Harvest (see above). Each $1 donated will provide $10 worth of food for those in need.


The Missouri State Chapter of Delta Chi is organizing a food and supply drive and will deliver it directly to the Joplin-affected area.   It has a Facebook page with more information.   You can also call (417) 669-4942.


The Next Level Salon and Spa will make Thursday a $10 haircut day with any item donation. People can drop off any non-perishable food, clothing, blankets, diapers, toiletries, flash lights, batteries, bottled water or any other items at the salon, 2025 W. Sunshine St., Springfield.  All donations and money collected will go to the Red Cross assisting in the Joplin search and rescue and clean-up. For questions, contact the salon at (417) 501-1652.


From the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday morning (some were listed previously):

OTC – Collecting NEW items in the IC Atrium on the SGF campus to take to Joplin. Drop off water, food, blankets, toiletries there. 7 a.m.-9 p.m.

Springfield Paper Company -- Water, food, blankets, clothes, toiletries, 412 N National, call (417) 379-0533.

Ozark High School -- 417-582-5722 . Accepting donations.

Ozarks Food Harvest -- accepting donations. Check out their Facebook page for updates

Meeks Lumber -- Re-allocating supplies to Joplin: Water, Cap Nail, Chain-Saws, you name it. Call (417) 623-6055

Habitat for Humanity -- taking donations at two Springfield locations.

Volunteers w/ medical skills, go to: ; all others asked to wait 3-5 days to sign up at 800-427-4626 or 211

Edward Jones office in Republic Mo. -- accepting relief items for the victims of the Joplin tornado; the Edward Jones branch is at 253 U.S. 60 West; (417) 732-1151

Salvation Army -- Non-perishable food donations can be dropped off at the Salvation Army in Springfield.

Springfield Jaycees -- Collecting toiletries for Joplin community, delivering on Sat. May 28. Drop-off location for items are: 1) Midtown location: Jacob Krizan, Casey Real Estate, 205 Park Central East (The Holland Building); 2) South side location: Elijah Haahr, McAnany, Van Cleave & Phillips, P.A., 4650 S. National, Suite D-2

Lamar United Methodist Church -- is collecting bottled water and their church's Daycare is collecting children's clothing. Call (417) 682-3306

First Baptist Church of Lamar -- is collecting toiletry items; (417) 682-3538

The Missouri State University's Delta Chi Fraternity -- is organizing a Food and Supply Drive. Accepting donations until Friday at 1116 E. Elm St., Springfield;  for questions, call Hector Salas at (417) 669-4942

Public Affairs at Missouri State University -- is collecting toiletries, diapers, food, water and clothing. Donations accepted in lot attached to Bistro Market in downtown Springfield Mo. from 8 a.m.-8 p.m., May 23-27. Questions? Call Holly at 314-520-0693. Or post on their Facebook page.


Call outs to community:

Convoy of Hope: If you have a team interested in volunteering contact; If you have mass product donations, email

Community Blood Center (CBCO) -- needs blood donations, open until 6 p.m. Code red on O- blood. 220 W Plainview Rd or 2230 S.Glenstone, SGF.

Red Cross - blood drives in Branson, Aurora, and Springfield Center (next to Food 4 Less on Battlefield)

Red Cross -- check out "Safe and Well" where people can check on loved ones.

AmeriCorps Volunteer Resource Center -- People interested in volunteering or those trying to locate loved ones can call the Ameri-Corp Volunteer Resource Center at 417-659-5464.

Pets -- Fostering pets

United Way of the Ozarks -- fill this form out online to volunteer.


$$ Donations

Red Cross

Convoy of Hope -

The Cake Pop Company -- is donating 100% of sales tomorrow, both online and in store, to Convoy of Hope to help relief efforts in Joplin MO.

United Way of the Ozarks -- Send checks to United Way of the Ozarks, 320 N Jefferson, Springfield, MO  65806,  marked  JOPLIN TORNADO DISASTER RELIEF and all funds received will be distributed to the United Way of Southwest Missouri (Joplin).

YOUR Commercial Kitchen -- accepting donations during its Ribbon-Cutting, 4 p.m., May 24, to Convoy of Hope to help relief efforts in Joplin MO. Located 3433 S. Campbell, (Savannah Square, west side of S. Campbell).

Salvation Army -- send to P.O. Box 9685, Springfield, MO, 65801, and designate donations with the word, "Joplin."

Local banks serving as collection sites for the American Red Cross: Guaranty Bank, Bancorp South, Empire Bank (matching up to $5,000), Great Southern (matching up to $5,000), Metropolitan Bank, US Bank, Oakstar Bank, Liberty Bank, and Springfield First Community Bank. Simply tell the teller you'd like to donate.

Community Foundation of the Ozarks -- accepting donations to a newly created Joplin Recovery Fund (seeded by $10,000 contribution from the Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri, Inc.) 100 percent of fund will be available for recovery grant making needs in Joplin. Contributions to the Joplin Recovery Fund can be made online at: Please note “Joplin Recovery Fund” in the Fund/Program box. Checks can be mailed to: Community Foundation of the Ozarks, P.O. Box 8960, Springfield, Mo., 65801.

Panera Bread -- any location in Springfield and Branson. You can add any denomination on to your order to donate to Joplin relief.

Doggie Styles Dog Grooming, Nixa, will do a Dog Flea Dip on Saturday, May 28, 8-1 and temporary tattoos; also taking donations anyone wants to drop off; Monday, we will deliver it all to a relief organization; Charlene Smith (417) 724-0600; anything you would like to donate would help -- bottles of water, can food, dog food, cat food, clothes any size and every size new or used, shoes any and every size, toys, shower and bath stuff, personal hygiene items for both male and female, blankets, coats (even though right now it is hot please remember people lost most everything that they have so they are in need of EVERYTHING!) animal beds, leashes, animal toys!


The OC (Ozark Community Center, 1530 W. Jackson St. Ozark, MO) is a drop-off location for supplies needed for tornado victims.  Items requested are:  Toiletries, Diapers, Non-perishables, Cases of bottled water, Batteries and Blankets.  All items should be “boxed up” and ready for transport.  Note: no clothing, no used items.

Drop off items @ The OC no later than NOON on Thursday.

Ozark Parks and Recreation’s Big Red Bus will deliver these items on Thursday afternoon to The Bridge Church on Rangeline Road in Joplin, for immediate to tornado victims; for additional information, contact The OC @ (417) 581-7002.


Donations of hygiene products will be taken at the Crane Christian Church Community Building on Wed. May 25 and Thurs. May 26 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. These items will be sent to Springfield Paper Company who will transfer them to Joplin, Mo. The church building is located on 413 in Crane, MO.


Garbo's Pizzeria, 2101 W. Chesterfield Blvd., Springfield, is collecting supply donations for the victims of the tornadoe  For every customer who donates items this week, it will donate 15 percent of their meal sales to the Convoy of Hope.  Next week, May 31 through June 6, it will  donate 15 percentof all sales to Convoy of Hope. 


Employees of Postal Federal Community Credit Union are using their Joplin location to aid neighbors affected by the tornado by providing computer and internet use, a charging station, and refreshments.  The 2007 S. Sergeant branch, located within a residential neighborhood and just 2 blocks from where much of the major devastation took place, suffered minor damage and was closed on Monday.

With the help of generators, the drive-thru and ATM were able to reopen on Tuesday, but the lobby will remain closed while windows are replaced and other repairs are made. Employees of the credit union have been walking through area neighborhoods passing out food and water, and also inviting those without power to visit the branch to use computers, internet, and power to charge their electronic devices.

Eight employees volunteered to help on Wednesday, with more planning to go throughout the coming weeks.

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