As many kids loaded their backpacks with carefully selected supplies for the first day of school, Joplin, Mo. students headed back on relying on donations and goodwill.
Despite the $150 million in tornado damage, the school district reopened Wednesday. Joplin High held classes at a makeshift building at the mall.
The district has been touched by the help that's poured in from around the world, but more will be needed, Kim Vann, district director of community development, told the Huffington Post.
"We expect the need for clothing and basic supplies to be great this year because of requests in just the last week or two.
When the tornado hit May 22, one school district employee and seven students, including a senior on his way home from graduation, were killed, according to the Associated Press. Six school buildings were destroyed, including Joplin High.
The donations that have come in so far have been nothing short of "amazing," Vann said. In addition to getting money, gift cards and supplies, Sheryl Crow auctioned off her car and the United Arab Emirates gave $500,000, pledging to match donations up to $500,000 more.
"I was in the elementary schools and the high school today and teachers were so very grateful for all the supplies that have been donated," Vann said. "Teachers and kids really feel the outpouring of love from the nation."
District spokesperson Jim Dunn told the Huffington Post that the most helpful donation would be money. He said that with funds contributed so far, the district has been able to provide every student with a backpack filled with supplies and every high school student with a laptop computer.
If you'd like to help Joplin schools, see the links below:
The district website suggests the following contributions and provides the mailing list for donations:
Make a donation to Joplin schools by Aug. 31, and the UAE will match every dollar up to $500,00. Help rebuild the landscape with trees and other planting projects with donations. Contribute funds to a Memorial Garden Fund. Or contribute funds to school supplies.
Donors can also adopt a classroom through Bright Futures. Contributors will be matched with a classroom in need of funds and materials.
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