To our readers who helped assist victims of the devastating Joplin tornadoes, allow us to pass along some sentiments of heart-felt appreciation.
Joplin officials posted on the city's website an invitation to join a "Miracle of the Human Spirit" event today to celebrate and commemorate volunteers who have assisted in the city's recovery.
The city noted, as of Wednesday, more than 241,255 hours had been logged by the 49,681 registered volunteers.
The city expressed it is "extremely grateful for the assistance that has come in from all 50 states as well as internationally," but also acknowledged the reality that "the work is far from over."
Mike Beatty, publisher of The Joplin Globe, wrote to his peers in the newspaper industry: "The generous donations, prayers and support that you have given us will make it easier for our staff who were affected to get back up on their feet. Almost in every case the people you helped were in tears or fighting back tears as I handed them your generous gifts."
And state Sen. Ron Richard, who represents the 32nd District that includes Joplin, wrote in a Fourth of July message: "We are all indebted to the volunteers here and across the country who have worked tirelessly to help us. We are grateful for all the financial assistance from around the world. Children have raised money selling lemonade and thousands of church groups have come in to help. Individual volunteers and organizations from communities have touched our hearts with their unselfish acts of kindness."
Central Missourians are among those volunteers and contributors who have given and continue to give their time, talents and money to aid the recovery effort.
Today, Joplin is extending its gratitude; tomorrow, it may be receiving thanks from elsewhere.
That's part of the continuum of neighbors helping neighbors and communities helping communities.