I drove down to Joplin, MO, on Independence Day to hear Rush Limbaugh's message to the people devastated by a tornado a couple months ago. I was also there to find out more about how the city was recovering and rebuilding.
Rush delivered a message about American Exceptionalism that focused on the uniqueness of our country's founding 235 years ago. He spoke of the importance of freedom as well as America's tradition of helping those in need.
In addition to his comments, Rush arranged for a truckload of his new brand of bottled tea, Two If by Tea, to be delivered to the crowd. I tried the rasberry tea and thought it was quite good.
Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) was there with his wife and two of his children as well as some campaign workers handing out literature for his Senate bid. If Akin wins the Republican primary, he will face Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in the 2012 general election.
Before heading over to Landreth Park for the Fourth of July celebration, I stopped by New Creation Church. New Creation is one of the many churches in Joplin that is working to rebuild the community that was devastated by the tornado. I posted a video message from Pastor Cliff Mansley about two weeks ago, so I wanted to see what was happening on the ground at his church. Cliff was spending some much deserved downtime on this holiday with his family, but I was able to speak to his assistant, Joseph Hobbs.
New Creation Church is just outside the area of Joplin that was devastated by the tornado. It didn't suffer any significant damage and has, therefore, been a distribution center and a sort of hotel for volunteers working in the area. They receive truckloads of supplies each week and distribute them to people in need; however, the volunteer work is the real ministry of the church. I think they would agree that at this stage of the recovery, it is more important to send volunteers than more canned goods though both are welcome.
Joseph explained the process of recovery that he's witnessed so far. After survivors were rescued and the initial shock had passed, there was a lot of cleanup work. That's ongoing, but then came the heavy demolition. Houses that were no longer habitable were knocked down leaving only a foundation and sometimes not even that. That process will continue for a while; however, Joplin is now entering the construction phase. Houses that were salvagable are being repaired.
This transition in work is important to understand if you're planning to volunteer in Joplin. Carpenters, brick layers, plumbers, and electricians are becoming more and more important as time passes. If you have those skills, please contact New Creation or another church or organization working to rebuild Joplin. I know that New Creation has added shower facilities and cots and I know that they're booked through July, but would love to have more volunteers in August, September, and on through the rest of the year. I'm not sure exactly how many people they can accomdate at a time, but groups up to about 50 could call New Creation a home away from home for a few days or a weeks as they help families in Joplin rebuild. Here's the contact information for New Creation (Sunday worship is at 10AM):
1831 S. Connor Ave.
Joplin, MO 64804
Update: Thanks to all who have linked! Thanks to Rush for featuring the video at RushLimbaugh.com and on the transcript page. Sweet! And thanks also to The Blaze, The Right Scoop, Mediaite, The Daily Caller, and Common Cents. Please feel free to hit the tip jar--the donate button is above. Thanks!
Update 2: Welcome GatewayPundit and thanks for the link! And thanks to the Jimmy Z Show! Thanks to AllahPundit at HotAir for the link!