As a coalition of regional community foundations visited Joplin today to begin learning how charitable donations can best help rebuild the community, U.S. Bank underscored its commitment to that process by presenting a $50,000 check to the Joplin Recovery Fund.
“We’re here to focus on the mid-term and long-term recovery of our community,” said Clifford E. Wert, U.S. Bank Region President.
CFO President Brian Fogle said this donation addresses both the mission and approach that the community foundations want to take in developing philanthropic resources for the long recovery ahead.
“What we need are funds that are flexible and allow total local control,” Fogle said. “We’re all in this together; we’re all here to help.”
Tulsa Community Foundation CEO Phil Lakin, Jr., said he wanted to visit so he could share Joplin’s story with donors in his region interested in helping the city rebuild after the storm that killed 139, destroyed about 8,000 homes and destroyed or seriously damaged about 400 businesses.
“We were quick to step up because we know we need to support our neighbors to the east,” Lakin said.
The Tulsa Community Foundation, the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation and the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas joined the CFO and its Joplin-Carthage affiliate, the Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri, Inc., for a meeting with Joplin leaders before the check presentation.
The foundations, which will shepherd charitable donations toward a community-based recovery grantmaking group, met with Joplin Mayor Mike Woolston, City Manager Mark Rohr, and representatives from the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, the United Way, the COAD group, and the Economic Security Corp. More than $600,000 has been raised thus far.
The group discussed other areas of Joplin’s non-profit sector that also should be represented on the recovery committee and listened to some anticipated needs and ideas. Some of the ways the philanthropic resources can be used is to fill gaps for non-profits that aren’t covered by insurance or FEMA aid and to leverage other resources such as matching-grant requirements. The committee’s first role will be to further define its guiding principles in deciding how to allocate these charitable dollars in the months and even years ahead.
“We have all the flexibility you need and we’re going to be here for the long haul,” said Michelle Ducre, the CFO’s staff associate in Joplin.
Donations to the Joplin Recovery Fund can be made online at: www.cfozarks.org/donate; or by check to the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, P.O. Box 8960, Springfield, MO, 65801. Please note “Joplin Recovery Fund” in the fund/program box online or on your check.
The CFO/CFSWMO has committed 100 percent of the Recovery Fund to Joplin’s rebuilding. Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by the IRS.