Moore, Shawnee, and Central Oklahoma
Joplin, Missouri - June 28, 2013 - A major effort to help Central Oklahoma recover from recent tornadoes is now underway in Joplin, Missouri. More than 100,000 flower bulbs will temporarily be planted in Joplin and, eventually, bloom in Moore, Shawnee, and other communities that were devastated by disasters in Central Oklahoma.
America Responds With Love, a national non-profit organization, donated 114,300 flower bulbs to create Respond With Love Gardens in Joplin in Missouri and in Moore, Shawnee, and nearby communities affected in Central Oklahoma. Twenty-six pallets of flower bulbs arrived in Joplin on June 20th.
Support for these efforts in Joplin included assistance from two Oklahoma organizations.
Melton Truck Lines, an award-winning leader in the air-ride flatbed industry and headquartered in Tulsa, donated the transport for this civic project. "We were contacted by the Oklahoma Trucking Association who asked us if we could help with the transportation services on this special project," explained Mr. Cardell Hall, Manager of Customer Service at Melton Truck Lines. "Like all Oklahoman's and American's, we were saddened by the great loss of life and destruction in Central Oklahoma, so we absolutely didn't think twice about donating the truck to America Responds With Love. It is wonderful that the citizens of Joplin, who are just two years removed from their own great tragedy, are planting the flowers that in time will bring beauty and renewed hope to those that have suffered so much in Oklahoma."
"The Oklahoma Trucking Association has been pleased to help America Responds With Love in the recovery efforts for our tornado ravaged towns and cities, stated Mr. Dan Case, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Trucking Association. "We are very pleased to have members, such as Melton Truck Lines, who step up to the plate and are willing to help out in providing transportation services for these disaster areas."
Four of the 26 pallets of flower bulbs will be moved to Moore and Shawnee. Both of these cities will use one pallet each to plant flower bulbs now in their public parks and other public areas. In addition, Moore and Shawnee will each donate flower bulbs from the other two pallets to other communities in Central Oklahoma that were also hit by tornadoes in May of this year.
In addition, some of the flower bulbs will be utilized by the City of Joplin to help restore the landscapes of public parks still recovering from the tornado that hit Joplin in 2011.
Since the impacted cities in Oklahoma are not able to accept the donated flower bulbs at this time, the City of Joplin is encouraging area residents to plant the bulk of the flower bulbs in their yards or business properties.
The flower bulbs will have the ability to grow and bloom later this summer in Missouri. In the Spring of 2014, these flower bulbs will be dug up and re-planted in Moore, Shawnee, and other communities in Central Oklahoma to help them beautify their recovering communities.
The efforts of America Responds With Love and the City of Joplin are welcomed by leaders within Central Oklahoma.
"We are so thankful to America Responds With Love for the incredibly kind donation of a semi-load of flowers," stated Mr. Todd Jenson, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Moore in Oklahoma. "The non-profit organization was one of the first organizations to offer Moore assistance with our recovery from the May 20th tornado. Joplin, Missouri, and its citizens are graciously planting the flowers this year and they will be giving those to the citizens of Moore next year for planting in our community in 2014".
Mr. Jenson continued: "The flowers will be a critical part in healing the scarred landscape of Moore. Moore will be taking a limited amount this summer to plant in our parks and public spaces. We feel this sends a strong signal to the community that while some of the damage remains from May 20th, the healing and recovery is underway."
The City of Shawnee joined the City of Moore in welcoming these civic efforts.
"We appreciate the generosity of America Responds with Love. The non-profit organization has donated a semi load of flower bulbs for the Cities of Moore and Shawnee here in Oklahoma to help out with the recovery of the May 19th and 20th tornado damage," stated Mr. James Bryce, Director of Operations of the City of Shawnee. "While efforts are going on to clean up the damage left behind, these bulbs will be the start of the healing process. Shawnee understands that we were not the only City hit and will be sharing the bulbs with the surrounding communities that were also affected. This summer Shawnee will take delivery of a couple of pallets to distribute and then in the Spring of 2014, we will receive the rest. Again, I say thank you, Joplin and America Responds With Love for your help."
"In the planting of flower bulbs, we are focused on the future and how the communities will be building back during the upcoming months," said Richard McDonough, President and Chief Executive Officer of America Responds With Love, Inc. "The citizens of Joplin and the area are showing their support for Oklahoma's recovery by giving these flower bulbs a chance to bloom in Joplin and then offer them to Oklahoma citizens so they can bloom in their communities and brighten their future with beautiful flowers. It truly is a great symbol of hope moving from one community to another."
The City of Joplin knows how a tornado can impact a city. The community is pleased to be able to help Moore, Shawnee, and other cities devastated in Oklahoma. "Joplin received so much support with volunteers and donations," said City Manager Mark Rohr. "This is one way our residents can help pay it forward, plus we can benefit from the beautiful flowers here this summer."
The summer-blooming bulbs will likely start to green and flower later this summer, probably in August.
"This is a very large project and we really would appreciate the area residents to get involved in this donation effort," said Chris Cotten, Parks Director. "We remember the large gift of flower bulbs we received from America Responds With Love, and it really provided many with an opportunity to replant flower gardens and beautify their yards. Many of the blooms in our community were from this gift. Now we have a chance to help Oklahoma."
America Responds With Love, Inc. is a national non-profit organization with its main office in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The organization provides a variety of products and services to people truly in need as well as to communities truly in need throughout the United States. Founded in 1989, the organization includes programs dating back to 1982.
Source: Responds with Love Gardens - Joplin