Joplin relief — ways to help

Phyllis Markus, Chair of JCRC’s Bohm Social Justice Initiative brings donations collected at Shaare Emeth to Central Reform Congregation, where they were sorted and sent to Joplin, Mo. Photo: Lisa Mandel

According to the Jewish Community Relations Council, during the weeks of May 23 and May 30, members of the St. Louis Jewish community collected and sorted clothing, personal care products, baby supplies and other items and drove a total of 14 large vehicles to Joplin to help those in need.

“As the weeks progress, the needs of the people of Joplin will continue. There are still many ways you can help,” noted Gail Wechsler, JCRC’s Director of Domestic Issues and Social Justice. The JCRC offered the following guidelines and resources:

Monetary Donations: To make an online donation, go to

Shipped goods: You can continue to donate the following goods to the tornado victims-blankets, new underwear and socks for all ages, clothing for all ages, flip flops and shoes, baby supplies, non-perishable food items, toiletries (especially sunscreen and bug spray) and Visa and Mastercard gift cars. Send your donated goods to: Fair Acres YMCA, 2600 Grand, Carthage, MO 64836 Attn: Joplin Disaster.


Volunteer opportunities: The Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis (JCRC) will be coordinating a Jewish response to the volunteer needs of the people in Joplin. Additional details will be coming soon. If you belong to a group (e.g., a Chavurah, Social Action Committee of a Synagogue) and your group would like more information about volunteering in Joplin, or if you are an individual interested in helping out and would like to be put on a list of potential volunteers, contact the JCRC’s Wechsler at [email protected] or 314-442-3894.

There are also a number of organizations on the ground in Joplin who can use volunteers for a variety of projects in the coming weeks and months. Many of these volunteer opportunities can be accessed from the website of Rebuild Joplin at