|JOPLIN- President Barack Obama, who was in town to speak at Joplin’s high school commencement ceremony on May 21, 2012, took time to meet and express his appreciation to those leading the way in Joplin’s tornado recovery efforts. They included representatives from Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri, the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Mennonites and FEMA.
Gabe Tischler, disaster coordinator for Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri, was among those who received a special invitation to attend the Obama meet-and-greet. Working in Joplin since the storm, Tischler has played a key role in relief efforts.
On shaking the President’s hand, Tischler said, “he thanked me and the entire faith-based community for its work in Joplin.”
Maura Taylor, executive director of Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri, echoed Obama’s appreciation: “Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri is blessed to have an extremely dedicated, compassionate staff helping to carry out our mission.”
To date, working with community partners and volunteers, Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri has repaired more than 100 homes and dozens more are now in progress with even more on a waiting list. Four homes have been completely rebuilt and there are nine houses currently under construction. Skilled labor such as electricians, plumbers, and carpenters are especially needed.
For more information about the group and how to support its humanitarian efforts, go here.