There's been plenty of sad news from Joplin since a tornado devastated the city on May 22, but today came word via the World of Special Olympics blog that the Special Olympics program in Joplin was not spared. The office was destroyed, and three athletes -- Tripp Miller, Rick Fox, and Mark Farmer, who had bowled together in the state tournament in November -- were killed when the house they shared was reduced to rubble. (Tripp's obituary is worth reading, a testament to a life well-lived though too short.)
Of those who survived the tornado, an e-mail quoted in the post mentions that many are displaced from their homes, and although food and clothing are being provided, "what our athletes need most are gift cards which can be used to purchase the everyday things that are needed for a home." There's an address for sending gift cards as well as notes of encouragement on that World of Special Olympics post, and the Special Olympics Missouri Facebook and Twitter pages also have messages up about Joplin Special Olympics where you can add your comments and questions.
Other special-needs related Joplin charitable opportunities:
- Autism Cares is collecting for families of children with autism displaced by the tornado
- Gluten Free Works has information on getting gluten-free food items to people with celiac disease in Joplin
Do you know of other disability-related relief efforts? Share in the comments.