Tuesday, June 07, 2011


Yesterday I spent the day in Joplin because I had gathered some items and cash to help the folks affected by the storm.  One of my classmates is a member of a church that has set up a "distribution center" where people can come and get replacements for some of the things they might need that were lost in the storm.  So that's where I took everything.  They were organized and even more organized than that.  They had an intake area where people dropped off the things they had brought.  The church's website had lists of what was needed.  The intake area volunteers put each item in the area where it belonged.  Periodically rented trucks came and took items to the distribution area where people could come to get what they needed. 

Each family that came was assigned a "personal shopper" who got the family a shopping cart(s) and took them to the tents that comprised the distribution area.  Each tent had a category of items with volunteers to help.  My classmate and I volunteered in the pet area which had dog, cat and bird food, collars and leashes, cat litter, etc.  Other tents had all kinds of non-perishable food, cleaning products, personal care items, over the counter medication, etc. 

On the way to the church we drove through part of the area that was hit by the storm.  It's hard to believe that something as unsubstantial as wind could create that kind of destruction.  It's odd but as I've lived my life, I've become less and less emotional about disaster.  I know quite a bit about what the people have been experiencing, but I'm somehow not very sad about it.  I've learned that there's no way to escape heartbreak and if you work at it and are lucky, you will be happier and more at peace on the other side of it.  That's what I wish for all of the people affected by the storm.

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