A major effort to help Central Oklahoma recover from recent tornadoes is now under way in Joplin, MO, where more than 100,000 flower bulbs will temporarily be planted and eventually bloom in Moore, Shawnee, and other communities that were devastated by disasters in central Oklahoma. Twenty-six pallets of flower bulbs arrived in Joplin on June 20 thanks to the support of two organizations — Melton Truck Lines and the Oklahoma Trucking Assn.
The trucking organizations were assisting America Responds With Love, a national nonprofit organization, that donated 114,300 flower bulbs to create Respond With Love Gardens in Joplin, MO, and in Moore, Shawnee, and nearby communities affected by recent tornados in central Oklahoma.
“We were contacted by the Oklahoma Trucking Assn. which asked us if we could help with the transportation services on this special project,” Cardell Hall, manager of customer service at Melton Truck Lines, said. “Like all Oklahomans and Americans, 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 Assn. has been pleased to help America Responds With Love in the recovery efforts for our tornado-ravaged towns and cities,” said Dan Case, executive director of the Oklahoma trucking group. “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.
“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 CEO 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.”
America Responds With Love Inc. is a national nonprofit organization with its main office in Valley Forge, Pa. The organization provides a variety of products and services to people truly in need as well as to communities in need throughout the United States. Founded in 1989, the organization includes programs dating back to 1982.
The organization has been active in helping people and communities in Missouri, Arkansas and Kansas, among other states.
For more information, go to www.respondwithlove.org.