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Joplin LTRC holds final meeting - KOAM TV 7

Joplin LTRC holds final meeting

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As the city of Joplin continues to grow stronger every day since the tornado...one group is closing their chapter of long term recovery. Today they celebrated their final meeting.

There were laughs...tears...and applause. It was a bittersweet moment for the Joplin Long Term Recovery Committee (LTRC), as they said their final goodbyes.

"There's an old adage for disasters, all disasters start locally and end locally. And our local community has stepped up and stayed with us for 24 months." says Chairperson, Dr. Renee White.

The group was initiated in June 2011 to work with agencies, organizations and faith based groups to assist tornado victims. Groups present at the meeting spoke their last goodbyes and said thank you for the years of service to rebuild the city.

"You take people and help them get their lives back in order. You get to see the progression. And the joy coming back into their life after dealing with a disaster." says Jenny Solomon, a care worker with the American Red Cross.

The group says with the amount of assistance  they've received from over 150 organizations...it was time for them to move on. Organizations like Lutheran's Disaster Response for Lutheran Family Services helped create camps like Camp Noah for kids in the area dealing with disasters. They say believe they believe the people they met throughout the organization have made the most impact on the kids.

"The blessings of a disaster like these is the people like these that you meet that you would never cross paths with." says Duane Moudy, a regional coordinator with the group.

"I don't feel as though we were extraordinary. I believe all people have gifts to gift back to their community, and this has just been a gift for me to give back." says Dr. White.

1300 families that the LTRC were helping have found affordable housing or sustainable living homes. But for member Ben Pawley, who has made several trips from Michigan to Joplin in 24 months...he calls it his second home.

"It's a good place to be part of. And I'm glad I've met and made many friends here as I have, and the influence of things in my life when I've been here." Pawley says.

Many members of the group will continue to work with Jasper County Community Organizations active in disasters group to continue to make Joplin a better place.

The group says those 40 families still expecting long term recovery will be working with rebuild Joplin to complete all projects. Members say that America is addicted to Joplin, and they'll expect those projects to be completed soon.

 

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