Recently, my hometown, Joplin, Missouri, was hit by a massive tornado. I watched the news in a daze, from thousands of miles away, trying to grasp what had actually happened there. Hours and hours, and, later, days and days, of watching the news didn't help; it didn't seem real. Without the battered local hospital, I wouldn't have had any bearings on what areas of Joplin had received the destruction. Everything was in pieces – shattered, crumbling, and strewn across a path of about 6+ miles.
Moving forward about a week from when the tornado hit, I arrived in Joplin anxious about what I was going to see. I had heard it was indescribable. Friends had told me that national newscasters and natural disaster volunteer crews had said this was the worst natural disaster they had ever seen, and, after seeing it myself, I agree — it was unlike anything I had ever seen.
A large portion of Joplin had been leveled. A major chunk of Joplin, built over about 140 years, was gone in less than an hour. It is impossible to describe what I saw and felt, but I knew what I saw happening within the community needed to be shared.
In what could have been a moment that fractured our small city, we came together. People helping out people. Donations came from all over the nation, and an incredible outpouring of thoughts, prayers, and hope were felt. And every bit of it mattered and helped. Every single piece of goodwill pushed Joplin forward.
In doing these videos, I wanted to create an honest portrayal of what things were going on in Joplin, as it tries to recover, and hopefully inspire needed donations. Although the coverage by the national media has shown what happened to Joplin, the sheen of national media makes it almost seem surreal. With these videos, I am attempting to give an honest presentation of what my town looks like now – two weeks after the storm.
The videos are my attempt to show Joplin for what it is: a great town in a time of need. With that, your considerations and donations are greatly appreciated.
Thank you for anything you can do.
Rebuild Joplin website:
To everyone who donated, Unicorn and C. W. would like to send you something in the mail as a thank you. Please, send an email with the subject 'I helped Joplin!' to lemon [at] misterunicorn [dot] com. Include your address in the email, and that's it. Thank you.