Monday, February 13, 2012
Serving in Joplin, MO
Meg B. is a current AmeriCorps NCCC member serving with team Earth 4 at the Southwest Region Campus.
When I found out that for Round 2 my team would be serving in Joplin, Missouri, which was hit by a devastating tornado at the end of May 2011, my immediate reaction was excitement coupled with nervousness. The main reason I decided to apply for AmeriCorps NCCC was to help the communities in our nation that needed it most, and being assigned to Joplin, I knew this was the case. After being in Joplin for just over a week, I have already been able to witness the strong sense of commitment and resilience this city contains, as well as a truly amazing spirit that runs throughout the entire community.
Earth 4 explores what the community named the "Volunteer House". This house was donated to the city by the family who once lived there and serves as a reminder of the miracle of the human spirit displayed after the storm.
For the next two months, my team, “Earth 4”, will be assisting the newly established non-profit organization Rebuild Joplin. Rebuild Joplin exists to ensure that resources of all kinds are effectively leveraged to holistically address the post-tornado needs in the Joplin community and create a brighter, more vibrant future for its residents and families.
We are working directly with the staff of Rebuild Joplin and will complete the following tasks in order to assess and fulfill the needs of the community. The team will be responsible for volunteer and logistical coordination, construction, and resource management and will strategize to recruit volunteers on both the local and national level. In addition, we will assess information about identified homeowners’ ongoing needs and subsequently lead volunteers in the rebuilding of these homes.
Amanda, Rebuild Joplin’s volunteer coordinator and our supervisor, expressed her enthusiasm about working directly with us for the next two months. "We are very excited to have the Earth 4 AmeriCorps NCCC team with us assisting our office as we begin to manage the volunteers and construction efforts to rebuild Joplin. The team will initially help us hit the ground running by completing various tasks to get our office organized. I am looking forward to getting to know them better as we begin construction for the many individuals in our community who need help getting back into their homes.”
My team and I are incredibly grateful to be a part of rebuilding Joplin into the bigger, better and stronger community we know it will be.
In a related story, AmeriCorps members, like Meg, were recently honored by the Missouri House of Representatives, who passed a resolution honoring AmeriCorps members from across the country who have played an indispensable role in helping the city of Joplin recover from the devastating tornado that struck the city on May 22, 2011.
To read more, go here.