Joplin Recovery Fund Attracting Wide Range of Support

Philanthropic support to rebuild Joplin is growing through a coalition of private donors, regional community foundations, corporate gifts and grass-roots fundraising efforts using the CFO’s Joplin Recovery Fund.

Soon after Monday’s announcement that the CFO would open the recovery fund on behalf of its largest affiliate, the Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri, Inc., donors began expressing their faith in Joplin’s future with an estimated $250,000 in direct donations and commitments so far. The CFO is committing 100 percent of the donations for mid- to long-term recovery grants to non-profits working on the civic, economic, human services and educational needs created by Sunday’s historic storm.

While the immediate work in Joplin remains focused on emergency needs and search-and-rescue efforts, the Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri is starting to form a Joplin area leadership group that will take responsibility for developing recovery grantmaking strategies.

“My heart is still so sad, but today we’ve been able to start helping people recover, so that’s the good news,” said Michelle Ducre, the CFO’s staff associate for the Joplin-Carthage area.

The CFSWM also opened the Joplin Tornado First Response Fund this week at the request of the City of Joplin for shorter-term needs.

Some examples of the generosity and support that donors have announced include:

  • The Louis L. and Julia Dorothy Coover Charitable Foundation, a long-time partnership between Commerce Trust and the CFO, quickly matched the CFO’s $10,000 donation to seed the Joplin Recovery Fund with a $10,000 donation.
  • U.S. Bancorp donated $50,000 to the Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri, as part of its $100,000 commitment to Joplin’s relief and rebuilding efforts. U.S. Bancorp, which operates U.S. Bank locations across Missouri, also donated $25,000 to the Greater Ozarks Chapter of the American Red Cross and $25,000 to United Way.
  • The City of West Plains, where the CFO has one of its two regional offices along with the Joplin-Carthage area, endorsed the Joplin Recovery Fund for its residents interested in helping its western Missouri neighbor rebuild.
  • Regional community foundations, including the Tulsa Community Foundation, the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas, are encouraging their interested donors to support the Joplin Recovery Fund.

Private donors from 25 states and Canada also have made contributions this week, some fueled by local connections and others moved by national media reports projecting Joplin’s resiliency and humanity in coping with nature’s fury. And several Joplin-area employers have opened  benevolence funds to assist their own employees who have lost family members, suffered injuries, or sustained major property losses.

Donations can be made online at: http://www.cfozarks.org/donate. Please note either “Joplin Recovery Fund” or “Joplin Tornado First-Response Fund” in the fund/program box. Checks can be sent to: Community Foundation of the Ozarks, P.O. Box 8960, Springfield, MO, 65801. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by the IRS.

For any questions about the Joplin Recovery Fund, please call the Community Foundation at (417) 864-6199 or e-mail: cfo@cfozarks.org.

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