Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Help for Joplin, Mo. Tornado Victims

As someone who has family living in Joplin, Missouri I wanted to pass on this email I received from the National Apartment Association.

Apartment residents are among the thousands affected by the widespread devastation in Joplin, Mo., following the recent killer tornados. Hundreds -- if not thousands of residents -- have been left without homes, whether apartments or houses. Many are in survival and recovery modes.

NAA affiliates and member companies have immediately stepped into action. NAA now calls on you for your support. This has been a devastating tornado season for a number of our affiliates – but this is the first request that the apartment industry has received for immediate help.

Becky Weaver, CPM, Vice President of the American Residential Group in Tulsa, Okla., has been in touch with “the few people we have been able to reach” in Joplin. Because they are not sure yet what they need, Becky recommends that NAA members donate to the American Red Cross. It has opened a shelter and is distributing food, clean-up supplies and comfort kits. It is assisting with sending health workers to provide immediate care.

Text "REDCROSS" to 90999 to make a $10 donation, or visit the website to donate, give blood or volunteer.

Additionally, Gary Wilson says that the Missouri Apartment Association (MAA) Board of Directors recommends making donations to Convoy of Hope, a Springfield, Mo.-based organization that is heavily involved in distributing water, food and supplies.

Text "CONVOY" to 50555 to make a $10 donation, or visit the website to donate.

Here are some ways NAA members are already making a difference:

The Springfield Apartment and Housing Association is working to find vacant apartments to help displaced residents.

Properties Plus, Inc., a Tulsa property management company, has closed its properties’ offices and is sending all of its employees along with two trucks filled with supplies to Joplin.

The MAA affiliates are joining forces to help the Red Cross and the Southwest Missouri Rental Housing Association in Joplin, according to Debbie Haukenberry, Associate Executive, Missouri Apartment Association. She reports that Cesar Mendez with Mendez Enterprises has donated trucks to help carry critical supplies. BluSky Restoration in Joplin is seeking out tornado victims to determine what help they need.

Additionally, Debbie says that Oddo Development has donated $1,000 to purchase supplies. Both the Apartment Association of Kansas City and the MAA have already donated or will donate funds. They are also collecting supplies and will begin distributing them this week.

If you have questions about how you can help, contact:
Valerie Hairston, Director of Membership & Affiliate Services
valerie@naahq.org
703/797-0624

If you are a member of the news media, contact:
Carole Roper, Manager of Public Affairs
carole@naahq.org
703/797-0616