Categorized | General Photos

Joplin Tornado

On Wednesday I traveled to Joplin, Mo., with reporter Tabitha Hunter to cover volunteers with the local group 3 Bags in 2 Days as they handed out relief supplies to tornado victims. The mission of the group of eight young volunteers was to get bags of basic toiletry items, food, water, baby items and clothing directly into the hands of the residents of Joplin that were directly affected by the tornado. In all we spent about five hours inside the disaster zone. What I experienced that day is hard to put into words, even the pictures fall short in showing the true scale of the disaster. Descriptions like “war zone” and “nuclear bomb blast” sound cliche, but nothing else really fits the scale of the devastation. How thousands weren’t killed is a miracle. I heard first-hand stories of survival that were amazing. I saw things that brought tears to my eyes and things that filled my heart with pride. Examples of the tenacity of the American spirit and the basic love we share for one another as neighbors and human beings were everywhere. Several of my photos of the tornado damage were shot from the back of a pickup truck as we drove through the disaster zone. Not ideal for composition, but it gave me a chance to cover a lot of ground in the short time I was in Joplin and an opportunity to share many examples of how much the people there need help in the recovery. I urge everyone to donate what they can, be it time, money, relief supplies or all of the above. For information on how to help go here.