For those who don't know, and I'm not sure how you wouldn't, on May 23, 2011 Joplin, Missouri was hit by an EF5 tornado that tore through 14 miles of the city. Many were killed and hundreds of families lost their homes.
My family lives about an hour and a half from Joplin. I grew up with Joplin as the place we most often went to on the weekends for shopping. We recently spent the weekend with some friends who live close to Joplin, and while their they took us to see the devistation.
It was worse than I had imagined.
It's one thing to see pictures and videos on the internet and television, but it is a completely different thing to actually go there and stand where the tornado had been.
Nothing but destruction all around. It was eerie almost. I'd never seen anything like it. Houses torn down, cars crumpled like a piece of paper, trees with mattresses in them. My heart went out to all those families whose lives will never be the same.
Before we went to see Joplin, my sister and I decided to have a bakesale to raise money for Joplin Relief. We sold cookies at a local restaurant and donated the money to our church for use in making survival kits! It's not much, but we like to help were we can! :)