WFMW: How You Can Help Joplin

I survived a deadly tornado when I was 18 years old. I was home from college for the weekend when an unsuspecting tornado ripped through our neighborhood, destroying homes and killing neighbors. My mom and dad dove on top of me to protect me from flying debris.

It was terrifying.

The war-torn aftermath and cleanup were heartbreaking. And the fear from such a catastrophic event stayed with me for years.

I’ll never forget going to the local school and digging through clothes from the Salvation Army shelter.

Red Cross drove up and down our street for days and days, feeding us as we began the tedious cleanup.

I can’t imagine if 75% of my town had been destroyed.

With the death toll climbing, Joplin needs our help.

Please consider doing something:

  • World Vision: Text”‘TORNADO” to 20222 to give a $10 donation. You can also donate online or call 1-888-511-6443 to support World Vision’s effort.
  • The Salvation Army’s disaster-relief efforts in Joplin can be supported by texting “JOPLIN” to 80888 to make a $10 donation. You can also donate through their website or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY.
  • Red Cross is providing shelter and distributing needed supplies. Text “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation, or visit thewebsite to donate, give blood or volunteer
  • Make and send hygiene kits to Heart to Heart
  • Convoy of Hope is delivering food and water to Joplin. Those wanting to help can text the word “CONVOY” to 50555 to make a $10 donation. You can also donateonline or by calling 1-417-823-8998.
  • Christ the King Church, a local Joplin church, has a great list of ways to help
  • You can also mail items listed below to-

James River Assembly (link to give online thru this church)

Attn: *Cherish Kids* Adoption/Foster Families in Joplin

6100 North 19th Street

Ozark, MO 65721

-Rubbermaid type totes with lids—medium and large sizes -Hand sanitizer -Gift cards–Wal-Mart and Target -Cases of water -Bags of groceries filled with food items (non-perishables) -Diapers -Wipes -Snack items -Toiletries (soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, contact solution, feminine hygiene products, etc.) -work gloves, plastic tarps and -Pack and Play type cribs

  • Pray for peace, healing and comfort to those injured, grieving, displaced, suffering.

*Please don’t forget next week’s THEMED WFMW: Summer Boredom Buster Ideas!


  1. 3


    Kristen, thank you sooo much for sharing how to help Joplin- our neighbors! I had no idea you went through the same thing in college. We will keep you updated on how to help. I got a call this afternoon and there is a new need to add- work gloves and plastic tarps. Can you add this to your list for James River. Thank you friend!

  2. 6


    I know a college girl who was trapped in the gas station cooler. Her mom was frantic. Imagine being so far away from your child and hearing that video! After today, it sounds like OKC area was hit hard as well. I loved your practical ideas, thank you for giving us a starting place.

  3. 7


    Thank you for this list. I was looking for these options and you just did my research for me. I’m posting a link to it on my blog. Thank you!!

  4. 10


    Thanks so much for the info on how to help! I feel helpless and I live right down the road from Joplin! I love that town and it is breaking my heart! We have friends with missing family and lost homes…this will be a long haul back to normalcy!

  5. 12


    I was just praying and asking God how I can help. Thank you for sharing these ideas. I have a ministry on my blog,, called A Meal in the Mail. I feature families enduring a hard time for 1 month, and encourage others to send a meal in the mail through a restaurant/fast food/Visa or American Express card. I asked on my blog last night if anyone knows a family that has been affected by the storms that I could feature. Please feel free to share on your blog or with others as well for families affected by the storms, or any other family enduring a difficult trial in their lives. Thank you!

  6. 13


    Wow, Kristen, I can’t imagine experiencing what you did…and now what the people of Joplin are living through. We live nearby, and it makes me PROUD how our town is pulling together to help out. Everyone seems to be pitching in somehow, in some way. That’s just the way the body of Christ should be working! What a wonderful thing you have done in this post, putting together links to help.

  7. 14


    Wow, what a horrible experience for you! That must have been awful. Thank you for posting all the great links for how to help!

  8. 15

    Becca says

    Thank you so much for posting this!

    I don’t reply often, but I did a while back when my husband and I were having some marital issues…well, can I tell you a story? ok, good! in January, we made a trip to his hometown of Picayune, MS for the New Years. one night we were talking while outside enjoying the beautiful night and there had been talk for many years that we should move back to Picayune from JOPLIN, I told my hubby that I would be obedient to whatever God was telling him was best for our family. We went back home to Joplin and prayed the entire trip.When we got home, we looked into my husband transferring with his job-they had an opening and wanted him! we left Joplin on Feb 1-they got 20 inches of snow the next 2 days! It has been a tough transition, but we are making it. I am thanking our Heavenly Father for His provision for our family…we lived in an apartment and it is no longer standing. We are collecting items and will be going back home to take supplies this weekend! God’s plans are SO much bigger than ours! The city will need help for quite some time to come, please keep praying!!!
    the second set of pictures is where we lived to the far top left in the one building that stands alone. complete loss :O(

  9. 18


    Great post. How scary that you were in a tornado.

    We are in St. Louis and were able to go buy things and drop them off at a local church. They were taking the stuff down there today. I just can’t get over the pictures from there.

    • 19.1


      Thank you for linking this! I’m last year’s co-coordinator of this MOPS group and we have several MOPS mommas who have lost their homes.

  10. 20

    Rachel says

    Thank you for giving information as to how people can help. My friend went with her church to help (she is an RN) and said it looked like a war zone…that the news coverage did not do it justice, it is so much destruction.

  11. 21


    Thanks for posting this information. Sometimes it is hard to know how to help. I can’t comprehend Joplin right now. I live in North Minneapolis and to see the images coming from Joplin makes our neighborhood seem so mild, yet it is a mess, 1000’s of people are impacted and it is costing $166 million. So thankful it wasn’t any worse and that it missed us by a few blocks! So thankful!

  12. 22


    Thank you for posting this from someone who lives in Webb City, right next to Joplin. We have lots of friends who have lost homes, a student from our youth group (my husband is a youth pastor) whose mom was killed, and my son’s preschool was badly damaged. It is much worse than it looks on TV…which seems impossible. If anyone is looking for specific families to help, please send me an e-mail!

  13. 23

    tara says


    thanks for posting this. i can’t remember how long i’ve subscribed to your blog, or where i got the link from, but i’m thankful for you and other bloggers who are letting people know how to help joplin. i’ve lived here for the past seven years, and it’s absolutely horrific and unreal to see what our city looks like today.

    if you are still interested in helping with joplin, many places are asking for gift cards — we will NEED money to be spent in our economy in the days ahead, and many of the donation centers are full.

    please pray about the housing situation as well – many renters are needing to relocate because homeowners are trying to sell property, etc.

    thank you very much for your thoughts, gifts and prayers.

    much love,

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