Today marks the one year anniversary of the Joplin Tornado. I remember being in South Dakota and hearing about this tornado and all the destruction that it left. Little did I know then, but this tornado would be one of the most significant things that would happen in my life and start to shape my perspective on life differently.
I arrived in Joplin in August of 2011 with my NCCC team and three other teams to continue working with AmeriCorps St. Louis and FEMA on getting through the list of people who had registered with FEMA after the storm and getting as many people as possible into safe and secure housing and helping them any way that was possible. It was a tough project and was hard to keep motivated when people would hang up on you when they found out you were from FEMA, told you that if someone didn’t help them at that moment they were going to commit suicide (that actually happened to me. someone told me that they were going to go hang themselves and hung up on me. we later found out they hadn’t.) or the people that were bareky holding on waiting for help anyway that they could get it.
However, there were also many great things during this project. We got to experience the hospitality of a local natural foods store that catered a vegetarian lunch for us everyday, got to have an amazing experience at the Chiefs/Rams game, and got to experience the emotion of the I am Joplin school year kick off event. We also got to come closer as a team and got to know other teams as well. I also became closer with some of my coworkers and had many conversations on salads, candles, pinatas, pt, and using a backer when driving rental cars while in Joplin.
In the end, working in Joplin was not easy, but it was an amazing experience.
Check out my other Joplin Posts