Joplin, Mo Relief Efforts Underway

Forest Institute is working to help in tornado ravaged Joplin, MO. This is the latest on those efforts and will be updated periodically as new information comes in.

UPDATE Friday, 5/27/2011

In need of licensed professional staff, please click here.

(Update 5/25/2011 at 4:25 p.m.)

Updated request for licensed providers (please bear with us in the fluidity of this situation):


  • Thursday night will only be a commitment to stay in Joplin until midnight (so leave at 5 pm and return around 1:30 am).
  • Need additional volunteers for Friday, Saturday and Sunday to leave at 8:00 am and return around 8:00 pm each day.


We will need fewer volunteers on Thursday now that additional days have been added, so let me know if you would like to change your previous commitment (or if returning at midnight would increase your availability).



Marcie Kirkup

Special Assistant to the President for Accreditation


(Important Update: 5/25/2011 at 12:00 p.m.)

To all students, faculty, staff and alumni who are licensed mental health providers in the state of Missouri:

As you may know already, the Ozark Center is coordinating the mental health response on site in Joplin. Because of Burrell’s relationship with the Ozark Center, they are coordinating the Springfield community mental health response to provide services in the disaster area and have asked for our assistance. Governor Nixon and a SAMHSA/CMHS rep will be on site on Thursday to observe the response of the mental health community in southwest Missouri. Every representative from every agency providing disaster relief will be on hand so that those impacted by the disaster will have one place to go to get any assistance they might need and to be linked with necessary services and supports.

Forest is partnering with Burrell to solicit volunteers from within our organization to travel to Joplin Thursday evening in response to this specific request for licensed mental health professionals – "as many as we can get”. The purpose of the trip will be to address any critical immediate mental health needs and ensure that they are linked with Ozark Center for long term needs. Please understand volunteers will be representing the Ozark Center, wearing their badges and following the protocols they have established.

Transportation by van and/or bus will be provided to limit impact on traffic in the area. Volunteers would leave Springfield from Burrell at 5:00 pm and would need to be prepared to stay until either midnight or potentially into the next morning. Forest is planning to provide a shuttle returning around midnight and a subsequent shuttle returning Friday morning for those volunteers who may choose to stay until all are served. We are waiting for a better estimate of both the number of volunteers and those in need of services (likely search and rescue volunteers at this time), so your timely response to this request would help tremendously in knowing how best to coordinate travel and time.

To all students and staff who are not licensed but want to support volunteer efforts:

There will be a group of licensed volunteers (including our faculty and students) traveling to Joplin Thursday evening to provide mental health services for those in need. We know many of you have been asking to support relief efforts and there could be an opportunity here. If you would like to help prepare box lunches or supplies to send with members of this volunteer team Thursday between 12-3, please RSVP to me by close of business today (Wednesday) at We will provide more details as they become available.

Marcie Kirkup
Special Assistant to the President for Accreditation

(Update 5/25/2011 at 8:15 a.m.)

Ozarks Food Harvest needs help here in Springfield to sort the food and load trucks in 3-hour shifts...

The organization says it is in dire need of VOLUNTEERS!

If you are available, please call 865-3411. You MUST schedule with Jen at ext 114.

(Update 5/24/2011 at 9:05 a.m.)


A few of the ways you can volunteer today:

1) Make a $10 donation, you can text "convoy" to 50555 or you can make a donation directly to the Convoy of Hope website. Standard texting and data rates apply based on your cell phone provider. Every $10 you give to Convoy will provide them with $70 worth of resources – this is a great way to make a BIG difference on a limited budget. And given the need for water in the area, you can "buy” 14 cases through Convoy instead of 2 at the grocery store.



2) Contact the Springfield Humane Society. They are working with the Joplin Humane Society to rescue and house pets until they are restored to their owner(s). They need financial support to do this and may need temporary homes depending on the number of animals eventually rescued.



3) Participate in the many food, clothing and household item food drives going to today – many of which are already posted in our E360 community.

We are still working with our alumni in the area and are waiting for them to identify their needs at this time. As you can imagine, they are overwhelmed, tired and do not yet know what kind of support they need/will need. As search and rescue comes to an end, on-the-ground volunteers will be allowed into the area soon. We will continue to post updates as additional information warrants.


(Update 5/24/2011 at 8:50 a.m.)


Stuff a Truck for Joplin

Q102 needs your help loading a Prime Trucking Semi for those in Joplin who lost almost everything in Sunday's tornado.

They will Stuff the Truck from 7am to 7pm Tuesday in the radio station parking lot in the Food 4 Less shopping center on Battlefield (319 East Battlefield) starting Tuesday till it's filled!

When it's full, Prime will graciously take it to the Forrest Park Baptist Church in Joplin, a large shelter & distribution spot.

Blankets, diapers, wipes, clothes, hygiene/toiletry, non-perishable food, water, hand sanitizer, socks and shoes.

Joplin is under a boil order, and even those with water likely don't have power to boil it. Water is greatly needed.


(Update 5/24/2011 at 8:45 a.m.)

TUESDAY MAY 24 from 6a - 7p

Items to donate:

  • Easy-open, ready-to-eat nonperishable food items
  • Canned goods and can openers.
  • Snacks such as crackers and granola bars
  • All types of personal hygiene items
  • Diapers
  • Paper products: paper plates, paper towels and toilet paper
  • Eating utensils
  • Cleaning supplies

Water bottles are not a priority from donors at this time.

Please do not bring clothing or other items NOT on this list


(Update 5/23/2011 at 2:00 p.m.)

The following is a statement from Community Blood Center of the Ozarks:


"Joplin CBCO is still accepting blood donations, although we are trying to limit it to O- donors and asking other donors to leave their name, phone number and blood type and we will call them later this week for donations, as the other blood types are sufficient at this time.

We have extended our center hours; Joplin center will be open until 7 p.m. tonight and Springfield until 6 p.m. tonight.

As far as non-medical volunteers, I believe we are good at this time.” --CBCO


(Update 5/23/2011 at 1:30 p.m.)


Status of alumni and students in the Joplin area:

We do have updates primarily on our alumni in the area who were affected. We are working to coordinate communication and support for them as we speak. We only share this information so our people will know the extent of the need and be ready to respond to requests as they become known. Here is what we know:

· Austin Frisbie and Chad Gerhart are safe and sound but their practice is gone.

· Charles Doyle is also safe and sound - facility untouched.

· Laura Bandoli lost her home.

We are very grateful to receive this information and to know our alumni are safe.

Our volunteer efforts will be directed in support of affected students and alumni, so please keep me posted to ensure their needs receive our priority attention.

Status of Community Blood Center Donations:

The CBCO is currently overwhelmed by the response, so please plan to postpone your donation unless you are type 0- or wish to make a financial donation.



Only medically-certified volunteers are being allowed to assist with on-the-ground search and rescue at this time. The best way to volunteer to help is to sign-up at and they will alert you when your unique talents and skills may be of use. (I have already received a couple of updates via e-mail since signing up this am, so their system is working.)


(Update 5/23/2011 at 12:15 p.m.)

The link below will take you to the United Way's page, where you can get more information about volunteering in Joplin.

(Update 5/23/2011 at 12:00 p.m.)

Other ways to help:

James at Ozarks Food Harvest 865-3411
Collecting bottled water, tooth paste/tooth brushes, and toilet paper.

Friends at Springfield Paper Co. have set up a donation site for The Joplin Tornado Victims. You can donate items like water, food, blankets, toiletries, etc. and they will deliver them to Joplin. Located at 412 N National Springfield, MO. Call Kevin Smith at 417-379-0533 with any questions.

(Update 5/23/2011 at 10:15 a.m.)

Here is what we know at this point:


1) Community Blood Center has extended collection times to 6:00 pm and is in need of O- blood. You may donate at any of their collection centers across southwest Missouri.

2) Convoy of Hope has been contacted and we will provide more information related to their needs shortly.

3) The Red Cross is overwhelmed (both phone and local office) and they will direct you to the following information:

  • Red Cross is coordinating non-medical volunteers through where you will need to set-up a comprehensive profile indicating your qualifications and availability. They are in desperate need of "medically certified” personnel and to contact 1-800-427-4626 for more information.
  • They are telling people they are in search and rescue mode right now and are worried about having too many people in the way and so are not dispatching other kinds of support later; this could change quickly.

4) We have personnel headed to the coordination center at MSSC and will provide more specific/additional information related to volunteering as it becomes available.

5) We have alumni and students in the Joplin area who are also providing timely information but also need specific support; we will update and communicate those needs as well.


If you are interested in volunteering through Forest, please contact Marcie Kirkup and we will coordinate a schedule.