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T-Shirt Display Honors Volunteers Who Rebuilt Joplin Post Torna - KOAM TV 7

T-Shirt Display Honors Volunteers Who Rebuilt Joplin Post Tornado

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   Thousands of volunteers are credited with helping Joplin rebuild after the 2011 tornado.

     A new display at the Joplin museum complex hopes to recognize the

    efforts of volunteers through t-shirts.

T-shirts from Indiana, to Arkansas,  to West Virginia,  Wisconsin and beyond. Some worn and weathered from the work done by its wearer helping rebuild Joplin.

Curator Chris Wiseman said, "The goal was to display something that would allow us to remember the people who came through. It’s kind of shocking that one hundred 182 thousand people came and volunteered in Joplin and all we have left to show that they were here was the work that they did but other than that they left no trace."

There are 66 shirts in the display. It’s  pretty obvious  that many come from those on mission trips and college kids on spring break. One with a personal story for the curator.

Wiseman said, "Two vans pulled up and these kids from Regis University popped out and they had my yard cleared in probably two hours."

Others offer a personal connection. Signed with messages of hope, faith, or encouragement. Some of them even saying thank you to Joplin.

 They're united only by their mission. Wiseman said, "Just the desire to help out. One of the things we talk about in one of the labels here is that these people came to Joplin, they gave us their sweat, their toil, and in the very end, they gave us the very shirts off their back."

And in some cases boots and pants. The display may grow with the discovery of mementos left by volunteers at the Station, .an outreach of South Joplin Christian church where hundreds of volunteers bunked during Joplin's rebuilding.

 Wiseman said,  "We want people to take away  the positive of all those people, who out of love, came in to our community and helped us when we were at our lowest." 

Brad Belk, executive director of the museum added, "Those people laid everything on the line. They came from all over the United States and  some parts of  the world to help  out.  its a remarkable story."

Told through t-shirts. There are currently 110 t-shirts in the collection with others displayed around the museum.

     The display is open through June 17th .

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