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AmeriCorps Volunteers Still Hard at Work in Joplin, One Year Later

Tuesday marks the one year anniversary of the EF5 tornado that ripped through Joplin, killing 161 people and destroying around 7,500 homes and businesses.  AmeriCorps volunteers have been a critical part of the recovery of Joplin, and continue to be a vital part of rebuilding.  KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann has more.

AmeriCorps is a nationally recognized group of volunteers who are working to help Joplin recover from the disaster.  The Corporation for National and Community Service oversees AmeriCorps, which began working in Joplin hours after the tornado struck.  Sandy Scott is the director of public affairs for the corporation. He says the visit his group is making this week is to meet with local officials, thank volunteers, and to be with the people of Joplin. 

Scott says he feels AmeriCorps has learned many valuable lessons from the Joplin tornado, and that infrastructure and volunteer coordination are critical components.

“Volunteers need to be managed. They need to be coordinated, so they can do the most good.  So we’ve learned the importance of registering volunteers, of training volunteers, and of placing them in the right places.  Long term coordination.  That’s one important lesson.  We’ve also seen in disaster after disaster, the incredible spirit of people young and old, near and far, who want to come and help out,” Scott says.

Scott says great progress has been made over the last year, but there is still a long way to go. He says volunteers are still needed.

You can find a link to more information about AmeriCorps below. For KSMU News, I’m Theresa Bettmann.

Click here to find out about AmeriCorps