Songs for #Joplin continues to evolve and raise money for the tornado-stricken Missouri town.
Back in June, Zach Becker launched “Songs for #Joplin” — an album featuring 18 independent artists available for free download at songsforjoplin.com. Donations are encouraged; all money from the album goes to the Heart of Missouri United Way and is directed to recovery efforts in Joplin.
On Saturday, Songs for #Joplin is partnering with Undergrounds Coffeehouse in Valencia, Calif., to auction 18 photos from Joplin and of the Songs for #Joplin artists. All proceeds from the auction will go to Joplin recovery efforts; Los Angeles-area bands will provide live music during the otherwise silent auction at Undergrounds.
If you can’t make it to California, you can follow updates from the event with Twitter hashtag #SFJAuction.
Journalists for Joplin • The big headlines have given way to other news, but work continues in Joplin, Mo.
On May 22, a tornado tore through the southwest Missouri town. Within hours, Post-Dispatch photographers were on the scene, giving us the first glimpses into the destruction. Now, four photographers — J.B. Forbes, Robert Cohen, Laurie Skrivan and Huy Mach — will use those their photos, like the one seen here, to help.
Journalists for Joplin, presented by the Post-Dispatch, the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission and Schiller’s Photo, will sponsor a silent auction on July 29 at the Regional Arts Commission, 6128 Delmar Blvd. See the photos and bid from 6 to 9 p.m.; admission is free, but donations are requested. Free parking is available behind the Pageant, which is across the street from the RAC. The photos will remain on display July 30. All donations and proceeds will go to Community Foundation of the Ozarks' Joplin Recovery Fund.
When Zach Becker saw the devastation from last month’s tornado in Joplin, he knew he had to do something to help. Less than two weeks later, Becker has created and released “Songs for #Joplin.”
Born on Twitter and adopting the Twitter hashtag style for its title, ”Songs for #Joplin” (@songsforjoplin) features 18 independent artists and is available for free at songsforjoplin.com. Donations are encouraged; all money from the album goes to the Heart of Missouri United Way and will be directed to recovery efforts in Joplin.
Benefit albums are not new — Linkin Park created a similar Music for Relief sampler in 2005 to help victims of a tsunami in the Indian Ocean. That project is now collecting donations to help with the earthquake and tsunami recovery in Japan.
"I desperately wanted to help but I’m unemployed so money isn’t exactly my strong suit," Becker said. Two days after the tornado struck, he turned to Twitter with his idea for a sampler.
"I just tweeted to my 300-plus followers, asking them to spread the word," said Becker, @docmisterio on Twitter. The responses and retweets poured in “faster than my iPhone could tell me about them.”
Artists also began volunteering to participate.
"The initial blast of songs that came into my email was about 35 or so," Becker said. "I didn’t, and couldn’t, pick everyone who submitted a song. There are a couple of big ‘gets’ for me personally: Waterdeep and Derek Webb happen to be two of my favorite bands/acts."
To quickly put the project together, Becker has had help from Webb, who co-owns music distribution site noisetrade.com where the album is published, and friend Sam Wade (@samwade). Within 24 hours of its Friday morning release, the sampler had collected $1,000 in donations. Word has spread primarily through social media.
"Our first day we had lots of people talk about and/or retweet us," Becker said. "I never expected any of this; I simply just wanted to make a difference to a hurting community where I couldn’t personally make a difference. Initially, my thought was ‘Man, that would be awesome if I could just get $1,000 or something — that would be $1,000 they didn’t have before.’ But since this thing has started picking up traction and I’ve been doing interviews, I’m optimistically hoping for $10,000 or more."
Almost two weeks after a massive tornado decimated Joplin, Mo., the recovery process has begun, but there’s a long way to go.
At least 134 people were killed in the May 22 storm; more than 8,000 homes and apartments were damaged or destroyed; more than 500 commercial properties were damaged or destroyed. As crews begin removing tons of debris from the area, a smaller group is working to reunite lost pets with their owners.
Jennifer Whitter of St. Louis (@jenn_if_er on Twitter) loaded her car with pet supplies and donations and headed 280 miles southwest to Joplin last weekend to volunteer with the Joplin Humane Society.
"It was the most rewarding experience of my life," said Whitter, who assisted with office work, helped clean cages and care for animals, and assigned duties to other volunteers. "I’ll never forget the people I met, specifically Annie, Abbie and Allison. I’m sure I’ll never see most of the people I worked with again, but they all made an impact on my life.
"What impressed me the most was the spirit of the people of Joplin. Some of the families I met this weekend lost everything, and some had lost a loved one, and yet they were more thankful and gracious than anyone I had ever met," Whitter said. "I couldn’t count the number of times people thanked me for being there or the number of people who told me that Joplin will be better than ever after this. If I were in their shoes, I’m not certain I would have the same positive attitude.
"I also saw firsthand just how resilient animals are. One poor guy had to have one of his front legs amputated because of a severe injury. That very same night, he was running around like nothing even happened."
While they are the most common, it’s not just dogs and cats that have found their way to the Joplin Humane Society. “While I was there, we took in rabbits, ferrets, hermit crabs, 42 chickens, three goldfish, a hawk and a boa constrictor,” Whitter said.
Joplin Humane Society and American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals volunteers assign identification numbers to each recovered pet, and photograph it. The photos are then posted on the humane society’s website and Facebook page.
"When people come in looking for their pet, they are first directed to the emergency shelters that have been set up to house the non-injured pets. If their pet is not in the emergency shelter, they are directed next door to the JHS where all of the injured pets are being kept."
Volunteers are still bringing lost pets to the shelter; families who have not found their pets are encouraged to check back regularly. Pets and families are being reunited daily — sometimes hourly. Around noon today, Desiree Morris posted a note on the JHS Facebook page that her cat had been found: “My fiance just got a call from the Humane Society,” she wrote. “They found my Freya! I’m so flippin’ happy I’m crying. He’s going straight to Joplin to pick her up today.”
While in Joplin, Whitter adopted a dog of her own — a 3-year-old miniature dachshund she has named Jasper. (Joplin is located in Jasper County.)
"He’s a dog that had been at JHS for awhile, just waiting to find a forever home," Whitter said. "I saw him the first time I walked through the shelter but didn’t get a chance to play with him until Monday. I got him out his cage and immediately knew he was coming to St. Louis with me."
The Joplin Humane Society is still seeking monetary donations to help house and care for injured animals. To donate, visit joplinhumane.org, or text SAVEPETS to 20222 to donate $10. Donations also can be made at the Humane Society of Missouri website, hsmo.org; by calling 314-951-1542; or in-person at any Humane Society of Missouri location: Locally, 1201 Macklind Ave., S. Louis; 2400 Drilling Service Road, Maryland Heights; 17357 Edison Avenue, Chesterfield.
Officials say the group has been overwhelmed with spontaneous supply donations and volunteers; anyone who wishes to donate supplies or volunteer in Joplin is asked to call the United Way’s 2-1-1 line or visit 211missouri.org first.
"Joplin is going to need support for months and months to come," Whitter said. "Right now, we are all very aware of what’s going on there, but I’m afraid that in the weeks and months ahead people will forget. Volunteers will be needed for a long time, so please consider contacting one of the the many disaster-relief organizations and helping out.
"I promise you won’t regret it."
A first look at the damage from a tornado that hit Springfield, Mass. Reports Credit: Springfield Falcons (Taken with instagram)
Last week, weather dominated the news. Joplin was decimated by a tornado, and severe storms whipped through the St. Louis area. Perhaps, then, it’s no surprise that weather dominates this week’s “top tweets” list.
An F4 tornado tore through St. Louis and East St. Louis on May 27, 1896 — 115 years ago today. This scene at the southwest corner of Seventh and Rutger streets (left foreground) was the deadliest spot along the tornado’s 10-mile path, which was roughly along today’s Interstate 44 and across the Mississippi River. Seventeen people were killed when a three-story tenement building collapsed. Frederick Mauchenheimer, who ran a tavern on the ground floor, was playing cards with two patrons when the storm hit; they were among the dead. Across the street, another six died. In all, 225 people were killed in the Great Cyclone; it is still Missouri’s deadliest tornado. (Missouri History Museum)
Damn Nature U Scary of the Day: The full force of an EF5 tornado, succinctly illustrated in Joplin, Missouri.
Amazing and terrifying.