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Recovering From the Joplin Tornado: How You Can Help

In the coming days and weeks, the survivors of Sunday’s tornado in Joplin will need blankets, food, water, and more as they try to grapple with the loss of at least 116 lives and hundreds of buildings razed to the ground. KSMU’s Jennifer Moore reports on how others can help.

For those in Springfield, Ozarks Technical Community College is accepting donations and loading them up into two tractor-trailers from the college’s Transport Training Institute. Joel Doepker is a spokesman for OTC.

“We will have two tractor trailers on the corner of National [Avenue] and Chestnut [Expressway] at our Springfield Campus, probably for the next four days,” Doepker said.

He said the college is working with the Greene County Office of Emergency Management and also plans to coordinate with local humanitarian organization Convoy of Hope.

OTC is accepting donations of non-perishable food, water, blankets, boxes, and other items to go to tornado victims. It is also accepting monetary donations. It can all be be dropped off between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. All donated items must be new, due to the Office of Emergency Management’s policy.

Doctors, nurses and others wanting to volunteer their medical skills can go to www.showmeresponse.org, which is organized through the United Way.

The United Way’s 2-1-1 service number is overwhelmed with volume—and so the 2-1-1 Missouri call center has asked that those interested in volunteering sign up online at www.211missouri.org.

The American Red Cross website has a registry called “Safe and Well” where Joplin residents can go online and list themselves as safe—that’s as long as they still have internet service. For those people wanting to check on loved ones who may have registered on that website, you can visit www.redcross.organd click on the “Safe and Well” link at the top.

Also, the Community Blood Center of the Ozarks is in need of O Negative blood. For more information, you can call the CBCO at 227-5000 or visit www.cbco.org.

And in Nixa, the public school district is receiving donations for the tornado victims and recovery efforts. Nixa residents can make a check out to the Greater Ozarks Chapter of the Red Cross and make a note that it is for Joplin. Those checks can be dropped off at any Nixa School office through Wednesday.

The Red Cross welcomes emails from licensed emergency and medical officials who are hoping to volunteer: that email address is volunteerservices [at] redcross-ozarks [dot] org [dot] And the humanitarian group Convoy of Hope has deployed trucks and teams to Joplin. Convoy of Hope is also accepting donations at www.convoyofhope.org.

A facebook page is dedicated to the recovery efforts—it’s called “Joplin, MO Tornado Recovery,” and includes everything from a post about free hot meals for volunteers to another post from a woman letting loved ones know she was alive.

For KSMU News, I’m Jennifer Moore.