The Victims of the Tornadoes Fund was established on May 6, 2011 to assist our partner community foundations
serving regions impacted by the devastating tornadoes of 2011. The fund raised a total of $101,523, which supported communities in both Alabama and Missouri.
In Joplin Missouri,161 people died as a result of the storm. Nearly 1,000 were injured. It was the
deadliest tornado to occur in the United States since 1947. In Alabama, an outbreak of twisters resulted in 248 deaths and 1,700 injuries in 43 counties. Because thousands of homes and businesses were destroyed in an instant, the number of people displaced or suddenly jobless was staggering. Because the winds brought down
trees and power lines, basic utilities were devastated. Even many of those whose homes were still standing were without power or phone service.
To date, the Victims of the Tornadoes Fund has supported
- individual and family recovery needs (such as home repairs, rebuilds, and furnishing) and case management and construction coordination
- mobilization of over 100,000 volunteers to help sticken communities recover
- the rebuilding of two volunteer fire departments (one with community shelter), a playground, community meeting space, affordable housing projects
- community planning which has resulted in the release of billions of federal recovery dollars
- rebuilding and restoring infrastructure in Joplin, MO
- unmet recovery needs (roofing repairs) and case management support
- enhancing disaster preparedness through improved warning and safety measure
Your support of the Victims of the Tornadoes Fund has had an even greater impact: it has allowed these communities to rebuild in state-of-the-art, more sustainable ways. For example, the “Tuscaloosa Forward” rebuilding plan is creating a showpiece of unique neighborhoods that are healthy, safe, accessible, connected, and sustainable all anchored by village centers for shopping (in a local economy that struggles to sustain current shopping centers). And Joplin has partnered with Greensburg GreenTown (a nonprofit serving similarly tornado-impacted Greensburg Kansas) and has launched GreenTown Joplin, to help Joplin recover as sustainably as possible, and serve
as a model for other communities. The initial focus is “green” buildings which can save businesses, homeowners, and renters substantial amounts of money.
Like New Orleans post-Katrina, these communities are transforming themselves into vibrant and resilient places to live.