Kansas Citians are caring, good people whose hearts are absolutely in the right place. Just follow Facebook and Twitter and you’ll see hundreds, if not thousands, of “drives” and “collections” happening to assist those who have lost everything in Reading, KS and Joplin, MO.
However, those efforts are now getting in the way of work that must be done in a safe manner and people are being urged to not only coordinate with organizations that specialize in disaster relief, but to stay away from Joplin.
Certified medical personnel should register with Show-Me Response. If needs meet your professional skills, you will be notified, your availability will be checked, and a schedule will be set for your assistance.
The Ozarks Chapter of the American Red Cross has been overwhelmed with the outpouring of help, but there is simply not yet anywhere to physically take those items at this time. Instead, officials urge people who want to help to please send money and donate blood.
In fact, the organization says it is currently “no longer accepting any food, clothing, water, or other basic supplies at Missouri Southern State University.”
As individual groups, not associated with specialized disaster relief teams arrive, emergency personnel are having to divert their attention to the visitors, rather than to the search and rescue effort and to the safety of the storm survivors still seeking shelter and medical care in the area.
Understanding people have an innate need to help during tragic situations, Joplin area service organizations are working diligently to coordinate the efforts of the many people arriving in Joplin. Before driving to the area, potential volunteers are asked to first call the United Way 211 at (800) 427 4626 or register your volunteer group at www.211missouri.org.
If you have items to donate, make sure you follow a list of specific requested needs provided by a organization that specializes in disaster relief or who is coordinating with one of those groups.
The best ways to help from a distance:
- click here for American Red Cross of Greater Kansas City blood donation dates and locations
- click here for Community Blood Center of Kansas City donation dates and locations
- click here to make an online donation to the United Way of Southwest Missouri
- click here to make an online donation to the American Red Cross Greater Ozarks Regional Chapter
- click here to make an online donation to the Joplin Salvation Army
- text JOPLIN to 80888 to make a $10 donation to the Salvation Army via your cell phone bill
- text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 to the American Red Cross via your cell phone bill
American Red Cross of Greater Kansas City on Facebook
Community Blood Center on Facebook
Follow United Way 211 on Twitter
American Red Cross: Greater Ozarks Chapter on Facebook
American Red Cross: Greater Ozarks Chapter on Twitter
THANK YOU to all of the Kansas City area individuals and groups who are so generously reaching deep into their hearts and into their pockets to provide aid to Joplin.
Let’s make sure that what we believe is help is what is actually needed, so as not to hinder the process that must take place to ensure the health and safety of Joplin survivors as their City continues to search for victims, and eventually rebuilds.
**To contact Steph about upcoming Kansas City volunteer opportunities you would like to see covered by icedjamb.com, find her via Facebook or Twitter or by email.
(Steph is also the Kansas City College Admissions Examiner. Click the link to view articles on that topic.)