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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Wealth of local kindness heads to Joplin survivors

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Darcy Mainprize loads a case of water in the Joplin relief Show Me Hope trailer.
Most major media coverage has moved on to other news items, but the outpouring of kindness continues here in the Ozarks.

Many who live in southern Missouri have seen and experienced the floods which interrupted lives, crops and businesses.

But few know the total annihilating destruction of an EF-5 tornado, such as the one which ripped a huge gash in the heart of Joplin, taking 134 lives and leaving in its wake very few remnants of people's homes, businesses and lives before the storm.

In this part of the country, there has always been an overwhelming belief in generosity and a responsibility for neighbors to help neighbors.

That natural kindness has promptedarea people, businesses, organizations, schools, and churches to take action.

Eleven-year-old Darcy Mainprize of Thayer started a donation drop-off location last week in the Walmart parking lot to help the thousands needing assistance in Joplin.

With the use of one of her dad's tractor trailers, Mainprize and many other volunteers have been taking in a wide variety of donated items.

"I just wanted to help the tornado victims," Mainprize said. "People have donated all kinds of different items. Clothes, water, furniture and baby items."

Show-Me Hope Joplin relief volunteer Connie Ward said, "We have made arrangements to drop off our donations at one of three warehouses in Neosho, because all of the locations in Joplin were destroyed."

People in the devastated area have instructions and will know where to pick up needed supplies.

This is just one of many truckloads of donated items being gathered locally and sent to Joplin.

United Way volunteers have manned another trailer, bound for relief operations in Joplin.New and old clothes, water, toiletries, bedding, baby supplies and furniture filled a truck located in front of the Thayer Dairy Queen. Filled to capacity, the 18-wheeler headed for relief efforts in Joplin on Wednesday, June 1.

Steed Trucking, combined with the FFA, VoTech and the community of Mammoth Spring, packed in donated items and sent it on the road, bound for the victims in Joplin.

Winston Tucker's Fin to Fur stores in Thayer and West Plains have sent a load of clothing, shoes and sundries, with plans to send a second truck from its Thayer warehouse in the next week.

Volunteers from local businesses and communities are helping in other ways. Some have traveled to the Joplin disaster area and are doing volunteer work on location.

As the staggering need continues, Darcy Mainprise may have said it best, "We want to thank everyone who has donated."

The seemingly insurmountable recovery will continue, but with a continued neighbor-helping-neighbor Ozarks attitude, many are helping those who have lost it all to get back on their feet.

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