MU stands behind Joplin after tornado

T-shirt sales alone raised more than $100,000.
A man finds a diploma in a pile of rubble in Joplin, Mo. The tornado has claimed 138 lives in a six-mile path that destroyed the local hospital and the majority of Main Street.

A week after the devastating tornado hit Joplin, Mo. citizens across Missouri and the nation are still joining together to aid and rebuild the community, little by little.

“We all have been shocked and saddened by the loss of life and devastation caused by the tornado that struck Joplin on Sunday,” Chancellor Brady Deaton said in an email May 24 to students, faculty and staff members.

Gov. Jay Nixon said $25 million in emergency funds was initially set aside for Joplin, and this increased with private donations.

In response to the tornado that struck Joplin on May 22, MU has partnered with several groups to help relief efforts for the Joplin community.

MU joined the Heart of Missouri United Way to produce a selection of tornado relief T-shirts entitled “One State. One Spirit. One Mizzou.” that are priced at $14.95 each.

The shirts can be purchased at mutigers.com and became available last Thursday afternoon at the Memorial Stadium Tiger Team Store and University Bookstore in the MU Student Center.

More than $100,000 has been raised in the past week from the T-shirt sale by itself.

The relief efforts, collectively called “United for Joplin,” include a text-to-support program whereby texting the word JOPLIN to 864833 donates $10 to the relief fund.

KOMU/Channel 8 and the Heart of Missouri United Way sponsored a fundraising telethon Thursday evening, which started with KOMU newscasts at 5 and 6 p.m.

A food drive, jointly hosted by the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri and MU Health Care, was also started last week. Locations of barrels for food donations are located at University Hospital, Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, among many others.

The American Red Cross sponsored blood drives Friday afternoon at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and University Hospital’s lobby.

Also, MU Extention is helping coordinate relief efforts, the MU Center for Family Policy and Research is collecting donations for youth and the Shelter Club in the College of Veterinary Medicine are collecting donations.

President Barack Obama spoke in Joplin on Sunday afternoon at the memorial service held in honor of the approximate 100 deaths from the tornado.

Obama came to Joplin in order to express to the Joplin community of the national support to rebuild the community.

“We are troubled on every side, but not distressed,” Obama said, arousing great applause. “Cast down, but not destroyed. There’s no doubt in my mind that Joplin will rebuild. I can tell you, as President of the United States, that America will be with you every step of the way.”

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