Blue Chip has sent several boxes of T-Shirts recently to help those in Joplin that were impacted by the terrible tornado.
Lori has been an artist with Blue Chip for about as long as there has been a Blue Chip. She recently traveled to Joplin to help out in person, and she sent back this account of her visit, along with a few suggestions of how others might help out.
Hi there! Hey, I just wanted you to know that the t-shirts were very appreciated by the clothing donations coordinator and he said that “if today is anything like yesterday, they will all be gone in a few hours.” Thank you so much for sending those and thank you, Brice for getting them to me.
I am so glad that I went yesterday. It was overwhelming in every single way. It was heartbreaking, but as my group walked the neighborhoods of the hardest hit, we encountered family after family of folks who’d lost everything, but were thankful… thankful to be alive and glad to have the chance to help others. Just amazing. Go home and hug your families tonight because that’s all that matters. Everything else is just STUFF.
If you or someone you know is looking for a way to get involved, send gift cards. Don’t worry about anything else. They have plenty of water, food and toothbrushes. What they really need are gift cards for Wal-mart (there are 2 left standing in Joplin) and Lowe’s. I’ll try to figure out a charity that can help hand them out and send that to you if you are interested.
BUT, if you are interested in doing something more personal, I met a family that has an incredible story (there are hundreds and hundreds just like them, but I was only able to meet a few). The lived in the middle of the worst hit, about 3 blocks from the high school. A young couple with 2 children, a girl 7 and a baby boy (born 4 months earlier at St. John’s). They had no basement and only minutes warning. They huddled in their bathtub with Daddy on top and the house was scooped up around them. When it was over, they were alive and had only a few bruises. They were terrified, but lived. When we came up to the mess yesterday, the momma’s parents and sister and the daddy (the momma just couldn’t bear to come back) were digging for anything that they could find to salvage. Everything had been stormed on a couple of times since the tornado, so they could only come up a handful. Their dining room set was intact and some clothes that could be washed, but everything else was ruined. They are coming to stay with her folks in Shawnee, but I’m going to put together a care package and send it to them. We spent about an hour with them helping them sift. While we were there, we found the baby’s framed footprint and handprint that the hospital sends you home with. It’s the little things that mean so much. If you feel like you’d like to extend your help to someone specifically, this might be a good way. Let me know & we’ll get our heads together on how to do it best.
Anyway, thanks so much for sending such a nice gift and being so supportive as I went.
Talk with you more soon,