Missouri college students and staff are being asked to donate a weekend or a holiday this semester and take part in ongoing relief efforts in Joplin.
On May 22, the southwest Missouri city was devastated by a massive tornado that killed more than 150 people. A campaign called “Show Me U Care” is recruiting groups of students, faculty and staff from college campuses across Missouri to travel to Joplin and help rebuild homes and provide other needs.
Kathy Love with the department of Higher Education says Commissioner David Russell put the campaign together.
“He realized that the rebuilding effort would continue far after the first responders had left," Love said. "(Russell) thought that the fall semester of college would be an ideal time for student groups and faculty and staff members to go down and lend a hand.”
Love says the need for volunteers is even more urgent now, with winter just over two months away.
“As cold weather approaches, the need for shelter (and) warm clothing increases…that’s one of the reasons that we’re encouraging students to go down this fall to help the residents prepare for the oncoming winter.”
Love says Americorps is coordinating recruiting efforts for the Show Me U Care campaign. Anyone who wants to join in can call their Joplin office at 417-625-3543, or visit the Higher Education Department’s website: dhe.mo.gov.