As many of you know, Joplin, MO was absolutely destroyed by a EF5 tornado on Sunday afternoon, killing 125 so far, injuring many more, destroying 8000 structures, and leaving thousands without homes, their lives and community shattered. Worse, the storm struck in the middle of a Sunday afternoon, when many were at home or out and about for the local high school graduation, so many more are missing.
Joplin isn't a small town, it's 50,000 people, bigger than the suburb I live in in LA. It's the economic hub for that part of Southwest Missouri, and the destruction is crippling. While it isn't on the level of the tsunami in Japan, for this community it is just as heartbreaking and horrific, with a six mile swath of damage right through the center of the city. For a native midwesterner, the images are horrifying even to me, who saw her fair share of tornadoes while living there.
Sadly this isn't the only tornado that has hit this month or even this week. Alabama was torn apart last month, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Arkansas just this week. Being a Missouri girl, I feel this acutely because it could be my family and friends in the path of one of these storms at any point in time. That's why I'm putting the call out there to people who read this blog to show your support. You can go to www.redcross.org, or look for some of the local organizations in the Joplin area that you can donate to to make sure all of your money goes to helping the tornado victims. Even just a little bit can help so many rebuild their lives in the wake of this utter disaster.
So please help out the folks in the Midwest, give them a lending hand if you can. Show them your love, compassion, and support during this difficult and frightening time.