In late April 2014, a massive tornado outbreak ravaged the central and southern United States. In the wake of the destruction there were 35 fatalities, more than 200 injuries and billions of dollars in damage. This massive storm system spawned several hundred tornadoes, which did a majority of the damage, but it also brought flooding to many other areas causing major damage. The power of this storm was shown by the two EF4 tornadoes it spawned. Experiencing severe weather like this is a nightmare scenario for many people, but it also brings out the best in many.
After the storms had passed, TAMKO Building Products of Joplin saw the need to help people whose homes and lives had been ravaged. In response, the company gave $100,000 to the Ozark Chapter of the American Red Cross to help Baxter Springs, Kansas, and Quapaw, Oklahoma with their recovery from the tornadoes. As Debi Meeds, CEO of the Southern Missouri Region of the Red Cross put it, “This is an incredible gift and because of the support from community partners like TAMKO, we are able to help these families on their road to disaster recovery.” TAMKO and its owners have clearly demonstrated they understand the importance of helping people recover and get back on their feet.
In 2011, Quapaw and Baxter Springs helped Joplin after an EF5 tornado ravaged the area. TAMKO President and CEO David Humphreys said, “We feel that the Joplin community should be equally supportive in their time of need.” His hope was TAMKO’s donation would spur others into action and help generate more relief for the residents of these hard hit communities. The importance of donations like these is invaluable. This money provided food, shelter and clothing along with temporary housing for victims of the storm.
These communities showing each other support in each other’s time of need is an excellent example of their true character. It shows what can be achieved in the face of major challenges and disasters. Hopefully, more people will remember these stories and help victims of future storms.