Report looks back at tornado and recovery

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JOPLIN, Mo. — 610,000 Hours – That’s how much time volunteers spent pitching in to help with the recovery process after the 2011 Joplin tornado.

It’s time that’s worth millions of dollars, part of a report looking back at the impact of the storm.

Volunteering isn’t just a good idea for Ashley Micklethwaite.

Ashley Micklethwait, One Joplin, said, “This is emotional there was a crew of young men who showed up from Arkansas with chainsaws and cleared our driveway, people from the Baptist Convention came with bobcats and pulled huge oak trees out of our backyards which would have cost us thousands of dollars to move.”

As a victim of the 2011 tornado, it was a big help – both financially and emotionally.

And that’s just one small part of the 102 thousand volunteers logged helping out after the 2011 Joplin tornado.

“It was amazing how many people came from every state to help us recover. It was very compassionate. And I know personally how many volunteers helped me and my family.”

A new report catalogs 610 thousand volunteer hours – part of the donated resources that saved the city big bucks.

It would have cost 17.7 million dollars in matching funds in federal and state recovery grants.

It made a huge impact after the tornado.

But as the head of the operation One Joplin, Micklethwaite adds it’s an investment still being paid forward today.

“I continue to read articles about volunteerism declining in America but in Joplin, I don’t think it is.”

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