JEFFERSON CITY -- The volunteer count continues to rise in Joplin as Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief calls in additional workers continue to assist residents to pick through possessions and clean up in the wake of a tornado that tore through the city on May 22.
More than 100 DR workers were on site as of Thursday, noted Rick Seaton, MBC specialist for disaster relief and men’s missions and ministry. Assessors and chaplains, among the earliest volunteers called to help, are still ministering. About 10-12 chainsaw units also have been activated.
A childcare unit began work Thursday, with a feeding unit from Cape Girardeau Baptist Association expected to arrive in late afternoon. That unit will set up Friday and begin serving on Saturday.
The DR command center outgrew the Baptist Student Center at Missouri Southern State University and has been relocated to Fellowship Baptist Church at E. 32nd Street and Arizona.
“We appreciate the church’s willingness and hospitality,” Seaton said. “We also appreciate the BSU that has been open, supportive and helpful.”
The Missouri Baptist Convention has set up several sites around the state to collect specific items needed in Joplin.
Two sites in Joplin itself are Wildwood Southern Baptist Church at 4827 E. 20th, Lew Poe at 417-623-6466; and Forest Park Baptist Church at Seventh and Rangeline, Greg Walker at 417-623-4606 (choose Forest Park at the prompt).
Other sites include Canvas at 315 South St., Springfield (417-869-4138); First Baptist Church, Branson, at 400 S. Sunshine St. (417-334-7437); First Baptist, Bethany, at 302 W. 22nd St. (660-425-8087); Chilhowee Baptist Church at 101 S. Pennsylvania St., Chilhowee (660-238-4341); and First Baptist, St. Charles, at 2701 Muegge Rd. (636-928-1311).
Also accepting supplies are Cape Girardeau Baptist Association, 5103 Old Cape Rd. East in Jackson, (573-334-3511); First Baptist, Steelville, 308 W. Main (573-775-2848); Abundant Life Baptist; 414 SW Persels, Lee's Summit (816-554-8181); Pleasant Valley Baptist at 1600 N. 291 Highway in Liberty (816-781-5959); First Baptist, Raytown, at 10500 E. 350 Highway (816-353-1994); and LifeQuest Church at 1400 N. Scott in Belton (816-318-4673).
Churches and individuals are asked to donate only cash and essentials such as personal care items, baby food and formula (liquid ready-to-eat only), ready-to-eat foods, medical supplies and snacks. A complete list is posted on the MBC website at mobaptist.org.