Joplin Members Continue to Recover

  • 15 June 2011

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

UPDATE 6/14/11

Efforts by the Joplin Missouri (USA) Stake and others to assist members in the recovery effort from the May 24 tornado are ongoing.

During the weekend of June 10–11, the Springfield Missouri South Stake provided 200 volunteers to aid in the cleanup effort.

The previous week hundreds of Church members and other volunteers put in 4,236 man-hours clearing brush, raking, and chainsawing.

Other stakes in the area continue to volunteer time and resources for service projects to benefit the people and areas hardest hit by the tornadoes.

Those wishing to help are encouraged to donate to the humanitarian fund.

The death toll as of Friday, June 10, was 151.

Joplin officials say more than 1,100 people have been treated for injuries since the storm.


UPDATE 5/27/11

Church leaders are in the assessment stage, learning the needs of people in the area—members and nonmembers—and documenting work orders.

A local bishop’s home has been converted into a command center where relief efforts and information can be coordinated. Those in the area with damaged homes that are still dry are hosting other, less fortunate ward members, and surrounding Church units have helped provide transportation and food.

A truck from Church headquarters filled with relief supplies arrived in Joplin today.

Area Seventy Jonathan Roberts and stake leaders are organizing a massive volunteer effort that is planned to continue each weekend over the next two months. Members of neighboring stakes will travel to Joplin to assist with cleanup.

Locally, Church leaders are connecting with disaster relief experts, relief agencies, and others in the community. A national relief organization in the area has offered join several hundred volunteers to the Church’s cleanup and relief efforts.

Read a more detailed update from Church News and Events here.


Severe storms hit the Midwestern U.S. again on Tuesday, bringing the number dead for the 2011 season to more than 500.

Tuesday’s storms killed 14 more in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Kansas. This second round of storms missed Joplin, Missouri, which was battered by storms on Sunday. The death toll in Joplin now exceeds 120, while another 200 are still missing. 

All missionaries in the affected areas and states are safe and accounted for, and no member deaths have been reported, although two members have been hospitalized with injuries. Local Church leaders continue to assess member status.

At least a dozen member families have lost their homes in the recent tornadoes, while many others’ homes have suffered varying degrees of damage.

Elder Jonathan Roberts of the Seventy and stake leaders around the Joplin area are organizing a massive volunteer effort that will continue in the coming weekends. Church headquarters is shipping a truckload of supplies to the area, as well, to assist in the cleanup efforts.

Several Midwestern states, including parts of Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, and Tennessee, continue to be under severe weather warnings.

Watch Creed Jones, president of the Joplin Missouri Stake, share his family's survival story on CNN.


A string of nearly 50 tornadoes swept through the midwestern United States on Sunday, May 22, 2011, hitting the city of Joplin, Missouri, the hardest.

Nearly 100 people have been pronounced dead, with that number expected to rise. One death was reported in Minneapolis, Minnesota. All missionaries in the affected areas are safe and accounted for, although at least one missionary apartment in Joplin was demolished. No member deaths have been reported.

Thunderstorms are expected to continue over the next two days, and the threat of tornadoes is still present.

As many as one quarter of Joplin’s buildings have suffered significant damage, including the Joplin stake center, which was destroyed. The homes of 10 member families were also lost in the devastation.

Local priesthood leaders continue to assess member needs and will be contacting city officials to determine opportunities to assist with community needs.

Read Newsroom’s report.