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Humanitarian Activities

Back to listJun 11, 2011

SGI-USA Members Engage in Relief Efforts in Tornado Aftermath

relief activities SGI-USA members at Joplin

Following the devastation caused by the EF5 tornado which hit Joplin, Missouri, on May 22, a group of SGI members in Kansas City, Missouri, took the lead in providing relief aid to those in affected areas. The tornado caused winds to reach over 250 miles per hour, causing it to be one of the worst recorded tornados in US history.

Volunteers included a group of six men and young men who gathered supplies in Kansas City and made five trips to Joplin, totaling over 1,400 miles, in the first four weeks of the tragedy. They managed to distribute 48 cases of bottled water, 23 boxes of food, 18 bags and six boxes of clothing, four boxes of toiletries, three boxes of books and magazines and two boxes of various household items like can openers, lighters, flashlights, batteries, gloves and other essential items. The men also visited local SGI members in the area in an attempt to offer encouragement.

Joplin District members Joplin District members participate in a local meeting in nearby Pierce City, Mo., on June 11

On June 4, SGI-USA members living in Joplin held their first World Peace Prayer meeting since the tornado.

Some SGI members made a nine-hour round-trip from Columbia, Missouri, to support the meeting. Others drove from Kansas City to lend support and deliver relief supplies.

At the meeting, participants shared their experience of surviving the tornado and how they each have a greater appreciation for life. One member commented, "I want to thank the SGI-USA volunteers for coming together without hesitation to deliver needed supplies and, more importantly, to instill hope in the members of Joplin. I also want to thank the members of the SGI who have been sending their prayers."

On June 11, a Women's and Young Women's Victory Meeting, commemorating the efforts of women within SGI, was also held in Joplin.

[Adapted from an article in the June 24, 2011, issue of the World Tribune, SGI-USA; photos courtesy of World Tribune]