Part 2: Debby’s DonorsChoose Efforts at Work in Joplin

This is the second part of a three part series by public school early childhood special education teacher, Debby Guardino, from Chesapeake, VA. After raising funds and educational material through DonorsChoose.org, and her personal social networks, Hipmunk helped her travel to Joplin, MO to meet the teachers she’d been working with, deliver the donated supplies, and see the damage and relief efforts.

During my first trip, I met with school officials and toured the area affected by the storm. There is no way to describe the destruction that took place when the EF-5 tornado hit Joplin. Imagine getting in your car and driving six square miles through the heart of your town, all neighborhoods, and to the far outskirts and seeing nothing but rubble. People have a hard time explaining what used to be in certain areas because they look around and are not sure what street they are driving on anymore.

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:12.0pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;
mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

I cried looking at eight schools in shambles with roofs collapsed in, windows blown out, and piles of brick walls tumbled to the ground. All I could think about was “what if it had happened Monday afternoon instead of Sunday when students and teachers were home. This would have been a much different story.”

/* Style Definitions */
table.MsoNormalTable
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;
mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;
mso-style-noshow:yes;
mso-style-parent:””;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
mso-para-margin:0in;
mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;
mso-pagination:widow-orphan;
font-size:12.0pt;
font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria;
mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;
mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;
mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;
mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria;
mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}

Some of the children in summer school are not talking. The teachers said the only thing the children draw is the tornado and they are jumpy whenever the skies turn dark or it begins to rain.

On my trip, I was able to provide 20 DonorsChoose.org training sessions to teachers to help them raise additional funds, and I dispersed over $400,000 (or three 18-wheelers worth) in donated educational materials obtained through my social networking efforts on Facebook and Twitter


Coordinating with DonorsChoose.org Vice President, Katie Bisbee we set a goal of having at least 200 projects posted, which was accomplished in record time by. Teachers in Joplin were grateful for the help and hopeful that these projects would be funded by the start of the school year. With a sense of accomplishment I headed home to Virginia to continue my online fund raising efforts.

If you are interested in helping a Joplin teachers’ project please follow the link to DonorsChoose.org/Joplin

Next Week: The Return to Joplin

 

Comments are closed.

Archives

Follow me on TwitterFriend me on FacebookAdd me to your circlesFollow me on Pinterest