By: Mary Robb Jackson

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The 50,000 people who live in Joplin, Mo., continue to dig out from last month’s deadly and disastrous tornado. Roads are again clear, but the cleanup goes on.

Now, some Pittsburghers are stepping up to lend a helping hand.

Barry Sanborn is Youth Minister at the First United Methodist Church in Joplin. He lost his home in the tornado but salvaged his Steelers jersey. Sanborn was in Pittsburgh last summer on a mission trip.

“Thirty-five individuals came and gave a week of their time to help us here on the North Side of Pittsburgh with a lot of the things we needed done,” said Rev. Larry Homitsky of Calvary United Methodist Church on the North Side.

Cleaning up an outside classroom at Manchester Elementary School was just one project. Now, it’s time to return the favor.

“When I got a phone call from Rev. Homitsky of Church Union and the United Methodist Church right over there by Heinz Field, I was literally speechless,” said Sanborn.

Within 60 days, work teams from Pittsburgh will be heading for Joplin. Three North Side congregations have already collected $1,000 in donations.

“Over the next three to six months, from now to the end of this calendar year, there’ll be work teams going from Western Pennsylvania,” according to Rev. Homitsky.

“We’re just are so thankful that Pittsburgh residents and Western Pennsylvania residents are going to be coming here this summer – and we invite them to come – there will be plenty to do,” he said.

What the people of Joplin really need now are prayers, but they also need baby items like diapers and formula, and anyone who wants to help is welcome.

If you’d like to help, check out the information listed below:
Contact: Rev. Larry Homitsky of the Calvary United Methodist Church
Phone: 412-231-4900

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