Illinois OOIDA members Jan and Jim McCarter arrived in Joplin about noon Monday with their J.B. Hunt trailer, toting items to contribute to the relief effort in the tornado-decimated Missouri town.
They were determined to lend a hand while remaining conscious of the warnings to “keep out of Joplin” and let the emergency workers “do their thing.” They decided the best way to help would be gather the items and work trucker to trucker – staying out of the way and delivering to another OOIDA member outside the restricted zone. And that’s just how they did it.
The McCarters spent the weekend in Oak Grove and Grain Valley, MO, where they collected supplies suggested by Bryan and Brice Martin of 4 States Truck and the Chrome Shop Mafia of Joplin. Bryan Martin, president of 4 States, is an OOIDA member. He and his brother, Brice, are longtime residents of Joplin.
Brice Martin is a deacon at the Grace Baptist Church on Wall Street in Joplin. Since the EF-5 hit Joplin more than a week ago, the church has been operating a relief center, feeding relief workers and victims of the damage and trying to provide for their needs. On Saturday, the Martins said the recovery workers needed blue jeans and that many of those left homeless had only the clothes “on their backs.”
“We gathered up 100 pairs of jeans, 100 or more shirts, enough spaghetti and sauce to feed 200 people, four giant bags of dog food,” said Jim McCarter, who is a life member of OOIDA. “We took 200 rolls of TP, 50 large cans of veggies, 30 pounds of coffee, 30 pounds of tea, 50 pounds of rice, 10 cases of water, lots of foam plates, cups, pancake mix and syrup, gravy mix, a case of cereal and lots more stuff.”
Jan thanked the employees of OOIDA, the Petro in Oak Grove, Grain Valley Chamber of Commerce, Whiskey Tango Club and Restaurant, and Blue Springs Harley-Davidson for their support.
“A special thanks goes to Lone Mountain Truck Leasing out of Nebraska,” said Jan. “They donated $500 to be spent on needed items.”
On Saturday, Land Line Senior Editor Jami Jones and the McCarters went shopping with the donated money.
“We squeezed every dime out of that donation,” Jones said.
The McCarters said what the relief effort really needs is donated trailers for storage. The pair is leased to J.B. Hunt, Lowell, AR, and Jan said she learned on Tuesday that J.B. Hunt had arranged donated storage space for 4 States and Grace Baptist Church.