3.5 million cubic yards of debris.
8000+ structures destroyed.
130 people deceased.
Only the smallest fraction of pets accounted for.
Even before the massive tornado that devastated the heart of their city, Joplin was a community of survivors.
Forged when wartime efforts demanded lead during the Civil War, then later, zinc from local mines, Joplin’s economy faltered at the end of World War II.
But, unlike most other now long-abandoned mining burgs, Joplin fought on.
When US citizens first embraced the idea of road trips and leisure travel, Joplin was a highpoint on the main road that interconnected America, Route 66.
Located near major highways, Joplin held fast as a market center. Residents of small towns from Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma travel and reply upon Joplin for most everything not available at home.
Trust me when I say, that means just about everything.
I grew up in a small town in Kansas. We went to Joplin for everything from jeans and shoes to lumber and furniture.
Most small towns in the area have nothing apart from Wal-Mart and small grocery stores.
On the 4th of July, it’s where you went for a decent fireworks show.
The only place to get prom dresses before the internet.
Home to the only movie theater in the area for a period when I was young.
The place a decent date takes you.
Any population index will tell you Joplin is home to approximately 50,000.
Ask many from surrounding small towns, and they will say Joplin is their adopted hometown.
I know that I consider it to be.
The pictures barely scratch the surface of conveying the devastation.
So many stories go untold on a wide scale.
I’ll share just one:
Pizza Hut manager.
Father of two.
With the mile-wide tornado surging toward their restaurant, Lucas tried to get his 4 employees and 15 customers into the walk-in freezer.
Daniel Fluhart, an employee, said he continued to try to get people into the freezer even while the tornado was literally sucking them away.
Lucas tried to hold the freezer door closed.
The door flew open and more were sucked out.
Desperate to secure the door, Lucas wrapped a strap around the handle and his arm. Fluhart held Lucas, Lucas held the door, and everyone held fast.
“And then, when everything blew away, he was gone, the door was gone, everything…”
Everything except the lives Lucas gave his own to save.
Written by QFX
Christopher’s heroic, yet sad story isn’t the only one to come of this and so Junkin’ for Joplin began. We have many members (including two officers/admins) that live nearby to Joplin and were heartbroken to hear of the tragedy, so close to home. But J4J is proof that you don’t need to be close to tragedy to feel saddened, and a need to help those that have suffered.
Junkin’ for Joplin came about over a day of talk between admin, and what first began as an idea for one fundraiser, has become a fundraising ‘group’ in hopes that we can continue to do similar fundraisers in the future, to help those in need around the world.
How does it work you may wonder? Well, it’s really quite simple. People put things up for auction before auction day, and when auction day comes, bidders come and bid it out. But it’s the way that it’s done that may have a few people scratching their heads.
Here is how it is explained in the ‘rules’ document on the fundraisers forum.
Junkin' for Joplin is our first fundraiser and we want to make this as trouble free as possible, so following is an explaination on how it works and a few set rules.
We call upon all the talent from our members to help raise money for the tornado victims in the USA. This will be a different kind of fundraiser to the fic fundraisers you may have seen before.
We will be auctioning off members artwork and crafts and/or fics in a different fashion. If you have a crafty talent, and you can spare a few minutes for a great cause, please help!
Anything from knitting, jewelry making, to banner making and everything beyond. All we ask is that you post a picture, known as a 'donation banner' of what you have to offer in the Junkin' for Joplin album http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.213850578649586 , with a short explanation of what you're offering and if you have any set limitations. ie. Starting bid of $5 or will only mail to USA/Australian/Uk residents due to (whatever reason)
This auction will take place from Friday the 1st of July 2011, at 12pm/noon (GMT) until Saturday the 2nd of July at 12PM/noon (GMT).
All you have to do is put your bid in the comments and the highest bidder on each product at the end of auction is the winner!
All donations will go to The Salvation Army via thieir website http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/www_usn_2.nsf/vw-local/Ways-to-give and must be in American dollars. (please make sure you check the currency converter http://www.xe.com/ucc/ on the day to help you choose what to bid on.)
Once bidders have donated their bids and received their receipt, they need to email it, (along with the details of the product they bid on) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Admin can then place 'PAID' under the product so that the owner knows they can then mail it.
That’s it! Not only have you now got something shiny and new, you’ve also donated to a great cause!
Now a few rules;
1) Please make sure you are very clear with what you are offering. You can do this by either having a very clear picture or explanation of the item UNDER or ON the ‘donation banner’. Please do NOT write this in the comments.
2) Feel free to offer as many items as you would like, however please don't burn yourself out and/or give empty promises by offering more than you can give. We want everyone to come out at the other end happy for doing something great, not stressed and tired from their hard work.
4) Please note that you are responsible for postage of your items, but if you are worried about the price, limit where you will post to. e.g. 'Will only post to USA'
5) Can't exactly take a 'picture' of what you're offering? (banners, outtakes etc.) Then please post a picture with the words on it. e.g. 'I x banner by Chaz' '1 X 5k one shot/outtake by Chaz'
NB: PLEASE I STRESS! If you are offering 2 of the same thing (this is more aimed towards crafts donations), please put them as separate pictures. This way there is no confusion over who won what. It also means more chances for others to win AND more donations for Joplin.
This is not necessary for those wanting to donate a piece of writing at a set price. eg. '1 outtake of my story for each person that donates $10'
Bidding teams are welcome, however we please ask that a ‘donation banner’ still be put up in the album, with details on who to contact (team leader) should they wish to put their name down. It is the team leader’s responsibility to let admin know when all bids have been donated and total amount donated so we can add it to the tally. We want everyone to know how much they have done for the Joplin victims!
*** ALL DONATIONS MUST BE UPLOADED TO THE PHOTO ALBUM BEFORE WEDNESDAY 29th OF JUNE! NO DONATIONS WILL BE TAKEN AFTER THIS DATE!
1) You bid on it? You buy it. Please don't bid on something if you're not willing to purchase it.
2) ALL items must be paid for (monies donated to the Salvation Army) and a receipt emailed to admin before Friday the 8th of July. Any items not paid for, will be re-auctioned.
3) Please make sure you communicate with the owners of your purchase regarding postage etc.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact admin of this forum.
We look forward to seeing all the great things up for donation and everyone enjoying their new purchases.
So now that you know what it’s all about, make sure you head to the FFA Fundraisers Forum to check out what’s up for auction. Don’t forget, if you are looking to donate something yourself, you have less than 24hours to get your ‘donation banner’ onto the album!
Here is a list of some of the things currently in the auction album