Dozens of students from Missouri University of Science and Technology will soon join forces with a popular reality television show and two national service organizations to help rebuild Joplin, Mo.
The Missouri S&T students plan to travel to Joplin to help rebuild several homes damaged by the tornado that struck the city last May. Some of the group will join an effort by the ABC reality show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” to build seven homes in seven days. Others will work with national service organizations Americorps and Habitat for Humanity in the ongoing recovery effort.
Beginning Oct. 19, “Extreme Makeover” will begin its “Joplin Big Build,” a weeklong effort to construct seven homes as part of the television series. Missouri S&T students who have registered for that effort will lend their support to that cause between Friday, Oct. 21, and Sunday, Oct. 23. Other S&T students will also travel to Joplin that weekend to assist Americorps.
Missouri S&T students will return to Joplin in November to assist Habitat for Humanity and Americorps in building as many as 10 new homes in the community.
The trips are being organized by five biological sciences students as part of a one-hour senior seminar, says Erica Shannon, a senior from Wildwood, Mo. The course requires biological science majors to work in teams to complete a community service project.
“From our personal experiences, we have noticed that people want to get involved with rebuilding Joplin, but they aren’t sure how to go about it,” Shannon says. “Our goal is to assist them in becoming more involved.
“We’re also excited to bring a large group of people representing Missouri S&T to help with the relief efforts,” she says.
Joining Shannon from the senior seminar are fellow biological sciences seniors Jordan Bridges of Springfield, Mo; Brooke Honeycutt of Joplin, Mo; Megan Koerner of Eldon, Mo; and Alexis Martin of Springfield, Mo.
The group hosted an informational meeting about the effort in late September, hoping to generate some interest. A total of 185 students expressed interest in assisting.
“We were glad to have such a large response,” Shannon says. “That means we have a lot of students who want to help.”
Trying to coordinate the logistics of so many volunteers proved challenging, however. So the first group attending is small. A larger group, including several students from S&T fraternities and sororities, will travel to Joplin for the Nov. 11-13 effort with Habitat for Humanity.