Missouri Conference Gives Rebuild Joplin $150,000 Challenge Grant


By Fred Koenig

A $150,000 donation will help Rebuild Joplin continue to bring families home. The Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church gave the check to Rebuild Joplin earlier today. The money will go a long way to helping more families affected by the tornado. The Rebuild Joplin development director called it a game changer for Rebuild Joplin. It will clear their current waiting lists for homes and push Rebuild Joplin closer to their goal of welcoming nearly 60 more families home this year.
The sounds of construction are heard on the 2400 block of Murphy Boulevard. Once the house is complete, Joplin Resident Cara and her children will be able to move in.
“For three years they’ve been living with family trying to find out again how to become homeowners,” said Thomas Corley, Rebuild Joplin Development Director. 
It’s one of Rebuild Joplin’s eight projects that is currently underway, and there’s still more to come.
“Into the spring and summer, we have about 10 projects that are lined up in our queue ready to go, that either we don’t have money for or we don’t have the ability to start them today,” said Corley. 
Wednesday’s donation from the Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church will clear that waiting list.
“What the United Methodist Church of Missouri is trying to do, is take the resources that were given to them after the tornado hit, and get them in the right place at the right time now that the tornado recovery is winding down,” said Aaron Brown, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church Pastor. 
Pastor Aaron Brown says the right hands are those of Rebuild Joplin, an organization that continues to work hard to bring people home.
“They’re people who have fallen through the cracks and people especially three years out, it’s so easy to forget,” said Pastor Brown.
A donation like this, reminds people they are not alone. 
“When our homeowners hear of a contribution like this, there is a level of reassurance and security that is provided to them, to know that they’re not forgotten,” said Corley. 
The donation is part of a challenge grant. Rebuild Joplin will seek to match that money from corporate, foundational, and individual sources.