We owe a belated congratulations to the crew at Arc of the Ozarks for its success in re-establishing its facility in Joplin, which was leveled in the May 22, 2011 tornado. The group broke ground on the brand new duplex facility, totaling 2,680 square feet, in late November.
The construction is made possible, in large part, by a $100,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri’s Joplin Recovery Fund and $25,000 from the City of Joplin’s First Response Fund. Private donors made up the rest of the $260,000 tab.
The new four-bedroom duplex will host individuals with dual diagnosis and will be built specifically to accommodate the treatment program that allows them to become valued members of the community, according to a release from Arc of the Ozarks.
The Community Foundation of the Ozarks salutes Arc of the Ozarks and all the other agencies still working to improve lives in Joplin, even as they seek to put their own organizations back together.
Yesterday at the Joplin Athletic Complex, the Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri helped take a major step with a $20,000 grant to the Joplin Daybreak Rotary Foundation for its Will Norton Miracle Field and Playground, which will allow children with disabilities to take part in sports and outdoor recreation.
The grant is from the foundation’s Joplin Recovery Fund, and goes to the field named for Will Norton, one of the first victims killed in the May 22, 2011 tornado. In addition to the $20,000 grant, the CFSWMO also promised $25,000 in matching funds to the Joplin Daybreak Rotary Foundation to help with future contributions as they continue raising funds to make the Miracle Field a reality.
The Office Depot Foundation today announced a donation of 5,000 back-to-school sackpacks to the Community Foundation of the Ozarks for distribution to schools in Joplin, Springfield, and south-central Missouri.
The donation was announced at a presentation at the Office Depot store in Joplin, where Joplin Public Schools will distribute 1,000 of the sackpacks.
“We will always be a part of the community. We want to be a positive part of the community,” Joplin Office Depot District Manager Richard Brooks said.
Randy Steele, President of the Joplin Board of Education, said there has been a perception that Joplin’s needs have been met since the one-year anniversary mark in the city’s recovery from the May 22, 2011 EF5 tornado.
“The needs haven’t stopped,” he said. “On behalf of the Joplin Public Schools, we thank you. Having great partners like Office Depot makes it work.”
In addition to the Joplin donation, the CFO distributed 1,000 backpacks to schools in its south-central service region based in West Plains, 2,900 to Springfield Title I schools and 100 to the Rare Breed drop-in center for homeless Springfield teens.
The Office Depot Foundation’s donation of the 5,000 sackpacks for Ozarks schools is part of its 2012 National Backpack Program. Since 2001, Office Depot has donated more than 2.9 million backpacks and sackpacks to children around the world.
“The Office Depot Foundation was pleased to support Joplin in a number of ways following the tornado – through direct donations as well as resources to help the business community recover,” Mary Wong, the president of the Office Depot Foundation, said in a statement. “We believe that it is important to continue to be involved long after the news media has moved on to the next story. The Office Depot Foundation wanted very much to help Joplin a year after the tornado and, thanks to the support and guidance of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, we are pleased to be able to assist the children of Joplin once again this year.”
The CFO and its Joplin-based affiliate, the Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri, have raised about $3.6 million for the Joplin Recovery Fund administered by the CFO/CFSWMO. About $2.43 million has been granted to Joplin-area non-profits for recovery efforts.
“What makes a community foundation work is having local volunteers who understand the needs of the community,” CFO President Brian Fogle said, in recognizing CFSWMO President Stephanie Howard and board member Don Gould at the presentation.