It’s hard to believe we are six weeks out from the devastating storm that caused so much damage here in Joplin. Most people have found temporary shelter with family and friends. Some have even found new permanent housing. Many are waiting anxiously to rebuild.
The debris field is being cleared, which is a sign of progress and great sadness all at once; sadness that old lives are being carted away, never to be seen again. Progress in that soon new homes and neighborhoods will rise from the dust. Temporary schools are under construction and some businesses are up and running. There is a spirit of hope and looking forward to the future.
From First Christian Church and South Joplin Christian Church we want to thank you for your courageous compassion displayed through your generous gifts of clothing, self-care products, food and so much more.
Our distribution center has helped hundreds of families make it through these difficult times. We also want to thank you for the hundreds of volunteer hours given by individuals and groups alike. Without you, we certainly would not have been able to operate as efficiently as we have. We have so enjoyed working with all of you and being a conduit through which the loving face of God is made known to
so many hurting people.
We are making preliminary plans to begin closing our distribution center. As we still have so many donations and are expecting several more deliveries in the next two weeks, we are stating that as of July 31 we will no longer take donations so we can begin the closure process. What this means is that we will remain open through the middle of August to make sure that there are supplies for the beginning of the school year. We will then be giving the remainder of our donations to other long-term distribution centers around the city. We also will make sure that what is not currently needed is properly warehoused for later usage by the people of Joplin. We will continue to need volunteers to help us through this process, so please don’t hesitate to call and ask to bring a group.
We will continue to collect monetary donations to assist both the families in our congregations affected by the storm as well as assist the larger Joplin community. We plan to be a pillar of assistance for the long-term as several months from now people will still be in need.
I believe there are plans in the works to develop a Disciples Mission Station here in Joplin, so please keep an eye out for more information on that in the future. Again, we want to extend our grateful thanks to each of you for your efforts and for your prayers. We couldn’t have done this without you.
So glad to serve Christ’s church with you,
Rev. Fay Blevins
Pastor, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Joplin, Mo.