Tornado victims and relief workers in Joplin have been cooling down and relieving stress with the help of Missouri prisoners.
Since a devastating tornado hit the southwest Missouri city on May 22, state inmates have made thousands of items that have been delivered to Joplin through a prison program intended to teach convicted criminals to give back to communities and victims.
This past week, for example, Department of Corrections personnel delivered 501 "cool ties" and 389 "stress pillows" made by prisoners to the Ozark Center in Joplin, which provides mental health care through the Freeman Health System. The "cool ties" consist of cloth filled with beads, which expand when chilled and can be used to cool down people who have been working outside. The stress pillows are filled with flax seeds, which when warmed and placed on the skin can provide relief to both physical and mental pains.