As our VIM Team settles back into their ‘normal’ routines, we can feel good knowing that Joplin’s residents are in good hands. In our mission work rebuilding tornado damaged areas of the city we worked with an organization called United Methodist Office of Creative Ministries. This organization was incredibly easy to work with, they made us feel at home and were truly appreciative of our efforts while we were in Joplin. It is immediately evident that this organization also has the best interest of those in need at heart. We could feel comfortable knowing that when we left, rebuilding efforts would continue and new avenues for assistance were being developed for those that didn’t ‘fit’ the requirements for certain funding.
Our VIM Team has decided to allocate some donation funding we received to help continue the efforts in Joplin through the Office of Creative Ministries. The donations we have received through all our means of fundraising have been used directly for mission work in Joplin. We were able to put over $3675 towards materials and supplies for rebuilding efforts while on the trip and another $2000 was donated to the Office of Creative Ministries with specific requests to be used toward the projects our mission team worked on while in Joplin.
There is still a need for repair and financial contributions in Joplin. Though the tornado destruction is slowly disappearing from view as new buildings and houses replace the demolished foundations, there are still residents that are “stuck.” We were told that 70% of the damaged or destroyed houses were rental properties. Some of those property owners decided not to rebuild, leaving their renters displaced with no roof over their heads. Some have rebuilt, but with high property taxes and nicer homes rental prices are going up, leaving others homeless because they are unable to pay the higher rent. Other renters are now looking to buy as rental properties are becoming harder to find, yet many funds for rebuilding have stipulations put on where the money can go. These renters-turned-homeowners are one demographic that seem to be getting slighted in accesible funding. Elderly residents that are struggling with damages to their homes are yet another demographic needing assistance that the red tape prohibits them from.
If you are interested in donating for these specific causes in Joplin, contact the UM4GI Team or go here to donate to the Office of Creative Ministries in Joplin.