Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Joplin-How You Can Help

Many of you, both near and far, have requested information on how you can help.
Below is some information you may find useful with some links on how you can help make a positive impact.

Obviously Dan is the tallest gentleman in the middle (The one holding the chainsawed momento "Dan" of this devastating crisis in his life). Dan and his wife Lorie (a nurse) have
three kids, two sons in college, and a daughter, Meghan, who is in high school. Dan, his wife, one son, Meghan, and their dog were home at the time and took refuge in their basement bathroom. They could hear the water sucked out of the toilet next to them as they felt intense pressure in their ears and chaos above them. (I can't even imagine their fear and terror!) 
Dan and his family have shown amazing strength and resilience through it all. They appreciate all of the thoughts and prayers of everyone both near and far. They are wonderful, kindhearted, people!
This is the view down Dan's street. As bad as this street is--we have been down many, many more that look similar and many more that are much worse. (Hard to imagine but true!)

 The reason why people are standing here was because once we moved all of that debris up to the curb-we were waiting for a dump truck to come by and bring a huge metal debris bin by to put all of the debris (Minus the wood items as FEMA will come by and pick that up later). It was amazing to see everyone bustling about and observing how much we accomplished in a relatively short amount of time. The power of numbers! Still a long way from completion though.

 Mick is in the back row just to the left of Dan. (I'm taking the picture).

Today Mick is back over with about 60 more people from his work to help out Dan's neighbors and others. Really impressed with his company for standing by their people!
Below is an excerpt from my Mick's email to his colleagues and co-workers). It has links to how you can help if you so choose.

**Since the McCreary Family has the most significant needs, a PayPal
account has been set up to accept financial support for their specific needs.  If you would like to donate directly to them, you can click on the following PayPal link:
Dan McCreary Family Fund               
Please note, this is strictly voluntary. It’s simply, “friends helping friends” out during a time of need and the contributions go directly to the McCreary Family.
Other options for consideration including donating directly to the American Red Cross - Greater Ozarks Missouri Chapter for the relief effort in Joplin or to the Convoy of Hope. 
For those of you wishing to donate to the Convoy of Hope, you can simply text the word “convoy” to 50555 and $10.00 will automatically be charged to  your cell phone bill.  For every $1 that is donated to Convoy of Hope, ~$7 of direct supplies and aid is given. **

Thank you to all who have and will continue to contribute to the cause whether it is via monetary donations, donations of time, donations of prayer and donations of positive thoughts. They are all TRULY appreciated!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Quick Update on Joplin

Back home from a long but very productive day in Joplin. Managed to help four families begin the long journey to rebuilding their lives. Although we are exhausted both physically and mentally, we find solace and energy in knowing we have made some small difference. I will try to get back very soon with some specific ways you can help, whether you live locally, across the country, or on another continent. Thank you all for your words of encouragement and support and for your prayers and contributions to the relief effort; whether monetary, physical labor in assisting in the cleanup effort, donations of supplies and clothing, or emotional and spiritual support. We truly appreciate, and the victims (and families of the victims) truly appreciate each and every kindness!
Blessing and love,

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Our Trip to Joplin Today

...was amazing...devastating...promising and hopeful all wrapped up in one enormous bundle of bonded humanity and American pride. Here is a photographic journey through parts of our day. I didn't take my big camera out much because I wanted to be respectful of those affected by this monster storm. Click to view larger. Most of these were taken with my son's P&S.
 Loved the side of this semi-truck.

Toiletries and personal hygiene items, water, and cardboard boxes.
A few of the crew:
Only the beginning of the organizational processing of clothing:
It was spread across the whole upper level:
Mick and I were a momma and her four kiddos who lost their home find some basic essentials while we were sorting. Mick helped this little lady find her "new" ruby red slippers. She was so excited! It pulled on our heartstrings. Wish our boys would've been there to witness this.
And these were her brother's new kicks:
Mick and I during a brief break:
Lots of roadside makeshift grills-with free food and water for victims and volunteers:
Entering into the Green Zone: (Meaning some greenery still standing)
The Red Zone in the far distance:
The Red Zone-where we dispensed the water and the dry food to several families. Note the American flags placed in a conspicuous spot. Surely a message to us all that we Americans are proud and stick together!

Came across many like this, with info sprayed on home articles for notification to Search and Rescue, insurance companies, and family looking for their loved ones. Happy that this one had a positive message:

People lined up their valuables and any salvageable items and placed them near the front of their driveways. Mick and I both got a little emotional of this site: a drum set. (We recently purchased a used one for our boys, so this struck a chord with us). Love that another flag made it into my pics (rear view mirror).
Found many flags scattered throughout the sites. Some were broken and tattered and still placed in areas where they could fly proudly in defiance as if to say, "Don't Tread on Me. We've been knocked down, but we'll rise again."
Countless trees looked like this, reminiscent of an enormous golf divot with a tee attached.

The following pics were taken on our way home. Notice the flag is at half-mast and is tattered by still waving in all of it's glory.Love that.

These are out of order, but were a series of pics I actually took with my big camera on the way in to town.
Ironically this church bus and the "Operation Blessing" semi-truck ended up at the very same relief center.

Thankfully, this part of town was not devastated as many hotels are located here. All of which are housing victims.

Would type more know, but I'm done. Emotionally and physically day. Severe weather on our weather so it's sure to be another sleepless night. Prayers to those in Joplin, OK, Texas and other locales hit by this week's tornadoes and to those in Tuscaloosa.