June 14, 2013 - 8:46 AM EDT
“When we heard about Moore, it was déjà vu,” says Lt. James Curry, corps officer for The Salvation Army in Joplin, Missouri.
It was May 22, 2011, when the community of Joplin, Missouri, was hit by an EF5 tornado. One hundred and sixty-one lives were lost; another 1,150 people were injured. The tornado was big, measuring a mile wide in its widest part.
The EF5 that touched down in Moore on May 20, 2013, was wider.
“We started praying immediately,” Curry says. “When I went to work we had a moment of silence.”
Soon after, the community stepped up in a big way.
“We had people dropping off baby diapers, wipes, shampoo and conditioner. People who couldn’t afford to buy hand sanitizer were buying hand sanitizer,” says Ali O’Dell, Volunteer Coordinator for The Salvation Army Joplin Corps.
Along with the diapers, wipes and toiletries came bottled water, and lots of it. Sam’s Club donated 2 pallets of water. Another four pallets came from Tri-State Motor Transit Co. and Downstream Casino Resort.
Beacon Roofing Supply donated a truck to drive the donated goods from Missouri. They also donated hygiene kits, cleaning supplies and other items that can be used for debris clean-up and removal.
Lt. Curry said the citizens of Joplin would continue to keep the Moore community in their prayers.
“This outpouring of love and support for the Moore community is something that the Joplin community wanted to do. We’re here to support the community of Moore until the needs are met.”
While Joplin continues to rebuild, Moore will now begin to heal. The gift of love from a different state will help both communities as they look forward, and remember the past.
The Salvation Army is no longer accepting in kind donations; monetary donations are the most critical need as supplies and personnel move into the areas of greatest need. Donors are encouraged to give online at www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).