I am inspired by outpouring of association and members inquiries looking for ways to help victims of the Alabama, Louisiana, Joplin tornadoes. Being closest to Joplin, only three hours away, the church, civic, corporate, government and even NFL sporting team elbow grease dedicated to helping in the area is inspiring. From stays of one-day to weeks-long doing all kinds of jobs.
Tracy Osborne, CEO of my home town’s Chamber of Commerce and former Joplin resident, is keeping us posted on the grass-roots movement of Rotary clubs, agencies, church groups, construction companies and families helping Joplin clean up their town of 50,000. There are no schools to convene this August. Tracy says 40% of the students have been displaced, since they no longer have a home in Joplin. There are no school supplies or computers or classrooms. Everything will be replaced.
I taught a leadership class recently for an association in Kissimmee, Florida. Two students approached me at different times: the first asked if I could connect her with a reliable place to donate money; her brokerage firm wanted to help. The second said her business is looking to make a collection of supplies that Joplin needs and will send anywhere it’s needed. And just last week, I sat in a board of directors meeting of a large NAR association who approved a significant contribution on behalf of the membership to Joplin relief. From very far away.
Individuals are springing to action; there are heroic efforts every day helping hearts of the homeless and helping survivors begin to put their lives back together. The story that began on the evening news is now in the hands of regular people from near and far giving of their time and treasure. The communities and families will need help for a long time. Thank you for showing the spirit of community.