Joplin volunteers still needed to help rebuild

11:38 AM, May 15, 2012   |    comments
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By Kasey Joyce

Joplin, MO (KSDK) - Progress is happening in Joplin, thanks in large part to the volunteers who have come by the thousands to help. But there's a lot still left to be done, and those volunteers are still desperately needed.

It started the day of the tornado. Volunteers poured in to Joplin, all with the same goal.

"I'm here to help rebuild Joplin," said Larry Lazar. "However we can help."

Many came in disbelief, but ready to do anything.

"I teared up," said volunteer Angie Alberternst. "It's very sad to see all this. Um, it's hard to imagine what these people went through."

"We find that we're continuously having people who want to be here which is absolutely amazing," said Habitat for Humanity's Scott Clayton. "I think, that when you saw what happened on TV, obviously you can see that it's tremendous but when you're here and you actually see it and you're a part of it it's a whole different thing."

After the tornado, one of the big concerns some of the volunteer coordinators had was whether this stream of help would eventually run out.

But as it turns out, just the opposite is true.

"So we're finding that we're getting a lot of return people and we still have many, many people that want to come here and help and I think that's just absolutely awesome," Clayton said.

Corporate groups, church groups, families, individuals, even celebrities have all come in to lend a hand.

"Knowing that uh at the end of the day you might, uh, have a little sore forearm from swinging this hammer," said slugger, Cal Ripken, Jr. "I don't do that every single day but at the end of the day you feel good that you made a contribution."

The work is far from over and the needs are still great.

"You know what we need, what I would say is thousands and thousands of volunteers but the more constructions skills," Clayton said.

Rebuilding has to start somewhere and there are plenty who are still willing to make sure that it gets done.

"Well, the thing is this could happen to any of us," Lazar said. "It really could. So we help out our neighbors, our communities no matter where they're at, we help out."


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