Quincy to Joplin: Where your money went

The DOT Foods truck being loaded with donated items thanks to local volunteers / file photo

More than twenty-five thousand dollars ... That's how much money you raised during our phone-a-thon two months ago for the people in Joplin, Missouri.

The total devastation will cost millions of dollars, but every penny you raised went to good use.

"One thing that has really meant a lot to all of us and has really sustained us is, not just the Red Cross family, but people across the nation have really supported our people that are hurting here," said Greater Ozarks American Red Cross Chapter CEO Debi Meeds.

The Tri-State community really stepped up to the plate to help the victims of the Joplin tornado.

"Money is still being collected as we speak, and collectively here in Adams County, we've raised more than $50,000 just for Joplin alone. So, that is fantastic," said Adams County Red Cross Executive Director Pam Shaffer.

But you might be wondering where that money goes ... How do you know it's going to Joplin?

"That goes to our national organization and then the Springfield chapter, in Missouri, as they're providing their services, then that money is funneled right down to them. So, every penny that was designated for Joplin goes to Joplin," said Shaffer.

"Money is spent where it's directed. So, the money that you spent actually went to help feed and shelter people," said Meeds.

The last person moved out of the Red Cross shelter 4th of July weekend but your help is still needed. Right after the tornado, your money went towards keeping the emergency response vehicles full and sheltering victims. Now that the shelter is closed, the money is used to help keep the volunteers hydrated in this heat and for long term funding.

"There's still lots of people working in the debris field. We sort of work along side what the city plan is and as long as people are out there until they go into the next phase of cleanup, we'll be doing that," said Meeds.

"People from all over come to support one community that's hurting and we talk about how we wrap our arms around the community and really try to meet those basic needs that people have," said Debi Meeds.

The Tri-States also pitched in with food, supplies and personal items to help with immediate needs of the victims in Joplin. We tracked down where those donations went as well.

When the DOT foods trailer arrived with your donations inside, it was directed to a warehouse outside of the city limits. There the supplies were sorted by volunteers, placed on pallets and shrink wrapped.

Then it was taken to the parking lot of the College Heights Christian Church. Church members had set up this assembly line of sorts ... with a drive through so people could get what they needed quickly.

More than 200 families used the distribution center every day ... and got what they needed thanks to donations like yours.

The distribution center is still helping some people with diapers, food and toiletries, but money is what is needed the most now as people begin to find housing again.

Pam Shaffer with the American Red Cross wants to remind you that this can happen to us here and you should be prepared. Make sure you have an emergency preparedness kit ready. It should include a flashlight, batteries, some canned food, and bottled water.