Quincy couple returns from Joplin

The town of Joplin only has about 5,000 more people than Quincy.

For the past few days we've been talking about ways you can help the tornado devastated town.

It's been very clear that our viewers have those affected by the destructive tornados in Joplin, Missouri.

There are semi trailers from different organizations all around town collecting things.

But one Quincy couple has volunteered their time.

Garold and Janet Shoemaker felt the need to go down to Joplin to help with clean-up efforts.

For us in the Tri-States, these are just images on the television. But for residents in Joplin, Missouri, this is their new reality.

"Maybe you don't think one person or two people can do much but people pulling together can help a lot," said Garold

So, with a donation from Sam's Club of 16 hundred bottles of water, the Shoemakers made their way to Joplin. And when they got there, they couldn't believe their eyes.

"It just looks like a bomb had hit. If you can imagine what the bomb at Hiroshima looks like, that's what some of that place looks like. There's nothing left in places. It's just gone," said Garold.

"They have their nice homes. We have our trees. We have our flowers and our yards that we're proud of. And once the tornado went through, that was gone. The trees are laying on the house, they're stripped bare of vegetation. I saw yard ornaments that were obviously lawns that were cared for and loved. They're just spread everywhere," said Janet.

But in a time of chaos, Garold says the people of Joplin look to the future.

"There is just so much clean-up, I really don't know what they're going to do with it. Clean-up and re-build. That's what the people talk about down there is we're going to re-build. We're going to re-build right here. This is our home, we're not going to move," said Garold.

"I know the communities, the outlying communities have been very helpful as well. So, they're pulling together and it's encouraging," said Janet.

"It was a good thing, it was an honor to go down. And to be able to help those people the little bit that we helped. And just to get to talk to a lot of people and get their feelings and to know how confident they are. They're going to re-build and they're going to go on," said Garold.

The Shoemakers also say they will never think of a tornado warning the same.

They will always take them very seriously because they have seen the damage tornados can cause.

KHQA has partnered with DOT Foods to collect items for Joplin tornado relief. You can drop off items at 301 S. 36th Street in Quincy and our truck will be delivered to Joplin, Mo. sometime after Friday.