Go Time: Anatomy of a Small Relief Effort, Part 3

As I wrote on Tuesday and Thursday, my friends David and Meghan Rowe are staging a relief effort this Saturday at their restaurant in Columbia for the tornado victims of Joplin, and they asked for my help. We are collecting hygiene items and bottled water. None of us have done anything like this before. I’m writing stuff down that I learn along the way.

The day has come. For us, the week has gone by fast. We’ve seen and heard stories of grace and horror.

It’s time to do what we’re gonna do. I turned onto Club Village Drive from Forum and saw the big honkin’ Mizzou Football truck. It was a pretty cool sight.

Mizzou Football Big Honkin Truck

Cooler still? The fact that people were unloading supplies from their cars, trucks and SUVs, and we had just begun.

We’ll be here collecting hygiene items and bottled water under the supervision of The Food Bank For Central & Northeast Missouri until 2 PM today. We have no expectations, and as Peggy from the Food Bank reminded us, “if you get three bucks and a bar of soap, you’ve made a difference.”

Thank you, Peggy. Thank you, everyone.

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I started to get a bit of dread yesterday as the Internet buzzed with fears that Joplin had too many supplies like the kind we were collecting. Watching the KOMU/Museao/United Way telethon on Thursday night (where they raised more than a million dollars – WOW!), I heard one of the anchors say, “they don’t need supplies, they need money!”

Ooh. Were we doing the wrong thing?

Then yesterday, a Columbia Tribune reporter I really respect, Janese Haven, tweeted a message from FEMA that they didn’t need more unsolicited supply donations.

I emailed Peggy from the Food Bank and she reassured me by saying these aren’t unsolicited, and that Joplin was going to need every ounce of help we could provide.

Long after the cameras leave. Long after the news cycle turns.

Joplin’s going to need every ounce of help we can provide.

Here, today, at D. Rowe’s just north of Forum & Nifong behind Walgreen’s, we’re so grateful for the leadership The Food Bank has provided us, and we’re equally thankful for the support and weight Mizzou Football has thrown behind this.

We hope you can make it by today – even if it’s just three bucks and a bar of soap … you’re making a difference.

Thank you.

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(Disclosure – D. Rowe’s is not a full-time client of mine, but I’ve done projects for them for money in the past. And for smoked meats as well. This project is all for free, obviously. At least, I hope that’s obvious. You never know anymore, do you? Okay. I’m going to stop talking now.)

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