Photo of the Week: Lions Clubs in Missouri Provide Relief for Joplin Tornado Victims

As Lions, our members are ready to help whenever and however our communities need us. We received this week’s photo from District Governor Debbie Whittlesey.

Lions Clubs Help Tornado Victims in Joplin

Photograph by: DavisPhotog.

On June 4, members from six Lions clubs in District 26M6 worked with First Response Team of America to clean up damaged homes in the tornado-devastated community of Joplin. In this photo, Debbie works with Past District Governor Zana Botzow to clear debris from the home of a single mother of three. “I know we made a huge impact on the family members that were there that had lost everything they had,” says Debbie. “They kept thanking us and asking us about the Lions and what we do.”

If your club has worked on a project to help disaster victims, please leave a comment to let us know.

  • IPDG Debbie

    LIONS I want you to know we were able to clear 42 homes and remove 185 stumps in Joplin through our partnering with First Response Team! We have made a huge impact in this devastated area of Missouri. Thank you LCIF, thank you Lions, and thank you First Response Team!

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  • Anonymous

    You can notify me via our website for work schedule days if you want to help at and hit contact us and direct it to me, IPDG Debbie and I will get your information! Thank you again for all the help Lions! Also, please check out First Response Team of America link above to see who we are working alongside.

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  • Anonymous

    DG Debbie,

    Our District 9EC and Cabinet members were proud to help out. A total of $715 was sent to MD26-M6, to help them out.
    Lions serve and Lions help.
    Keep working in the face of disaster.

    Iowa DG 9EC Art Matje and all our Lions

    • Thanks for your comment, and for all you do to help others!

  • DG Debbie

    Lafayette House in Joplin (Shelter/Resource for battered women) opened their doors to women and children left homeless by the tornado. They have been at full capacity housing and feeding much more than usual. I am V-E-R-Y proud to say the LIONS are taking them shopping for food this Sunday!

    • Thanks for the update … and for all that you are doing to help in Joplin!

  • What an inspiration to all Lions everywhere! Thank you for sharing your story.

  • DG Debbie M6

    Thanks for all the support, prayers and encouragement so many Lions have offered from across the State and certainly beyond. Wow!

    Working with Lions, Tad and his First Response Team clearing homesites the day of this picture was one of the most rewarding days of my life as a Lion.

    So far Lions have supplied Energy Packs, water, leather gloves, sunscreen, bought new shoes for the children who lost everyting, cooked hamburgers and hotdogs for victims and held a food voucher event at Food 4 Less. (Some of this made possible by our LCIF Emergency Grant.) Thank you LCIF for the quick Emergency Grant we received!

    Lions have also cleared homesites, “Adopted a Classroom” in each of the 5 schools destroyed in the tornado as well as been involved in powering part of the Mobile St.John’s Hospital (through FRT). I hope to have information posted soon about how Lions can help going forward. We are working on the details now.

    • Thanks for the comment, and for all you are doing to help in Joplin. We are honored to share your photo and story here.

  • theresa

    @ anonymous – if you would like to get information about ongoing relief or work projects you can contact DG Debbie. There is still a Joplin Club. However the DG is coordinating the relief efforts in the district.

    • There also will be a page on our website for anyone that is interested in helping and to keep everyone up-to-date on Joplin. The “Rebuilding Joplin” page will be up tomorrow (6/21/11) at We also have a Facebook page on our district’s website home page that you can “like” & stay updated too. From everyone & especially everyone in Joplin thank you for all the support & prayers around the world. Lions truly are “we serve.”

      • Thanks for the additional information Cathy … and for all you’re doing to help others.

  • Anonymous

    Garrison Lions Club (Garrison, Texas) participated with three small East Texas churches to deliver over 2,500 items of new clothing for infants and toddlers in response to the immediate needs in Joplin, Missouri.

    • Thanks for letting us know, sounds like a wonderful project. Thanks for all you do to help others!

    • Our club (Coal Valley, Illinois) found out 7 Joplin Lions lost everything so we gave $700 which figured out to $100 per Lion, then our district (District 1H in Illinois) gave $1,000 to help the same 7 individuals.

      • Thank you for letting us know about your club and district efforts to help those affected by this disaster … and for all you do to help others!

  • theresa

    Oh and that’s my MOMMIE and the hottest 50 year old in the planet!

  • theresa

    Good work ladies!!!!!! Love your devotion to helping people in need. All your work is greatly appreciated. Way to go M6!

    • Thanks for your comment (and reply).

      We’re glad to let others know about the work that DG Debbie and the Lions in Missouri are doing to help Joplin (and have been doing since the tornado).

  • Anonymous

    Nice to see we finally got there, only 3 weeks after the most destructive tornado ever.
    Are there any plans for ongoing support? Is there still a Joplin Lions Club to give us direction. Our club is in Kansas but only 15 miles from Joplin. I don’t know what we can do but doing nothing and waiting for instructions is not our best thing. HOW CAN KANSAS LIONS HELP? WE WANNA SERVE!!!

    • Thanks for your comment.

      LCIF provided a US$10,000 LCIF emergency grant to the district (26M6) on 5/23/11, which local Lions used to provide immediate disaster relief to victims, including water, food, and vouchers. LCIF is directing Lions who would like to help to contact District Governor Debbie Whittlesey, who has organized all of the service activities for tornado victims in Joplin. If you need more information, please email me.

      Thanks, Eileen

    • Anonymous

      Meals? Prayers? Clothing Drive?

      • The Missouri Lions District M6 website at has more information about relief efforts in Joplin. They will be adding a “Rebuild Joplin” page to their site tomorrow, so please check back then for more information.

        Thanks, Eileen/Web Editor

    • IPDG Debbie

      We are going to need Lions that are ready to work with more clean up in the coming days/weeks. Let me know if you still want to help!!