St. Thomas, Incarnate Word Academy help Joplin

April 10, 2012

HOUSTON — During spring break, eight St. Thomas High School students and 12 Incarnate Word Academy students were joined by Marty Matulia, Philip Cuneo, Marcus Walden, '04, and three chaperones from IWA for a mission trip to Joplin, Mo. The students and adults assisted in the ongoing clean-up and re-building efforts in Joplin after an EF-5 tornado that devastated a large portion of the city on May 22, 2011.

For the students and adults it was a chance to hear the stories of the tornado survivors, witness the destruction and participate in the re-building efforts. 

There were numerous highlights during the week, including visits to the two Catholic parishes of the area that were not destroyed by the tornado, plus visits to McCauley Catholic High School of Joplin and St. Peter Catholic Middle School. St. Thomas and Incarnate Word Academy students worked together with hundreds of college and high school students from throughout the country, including Iowa, Georgia, Wisconsin and Indiana. 

The students' drive to and from Joplin was 12 hours each way. In the words of Amy Rogers from Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri, "Most of the volunteer groups come to do the work of the clean-up only, but your group came to build community. Thank you St. Thomas and Incarnate Word for helping Joplin get back on its feet!"