My Thoughts Are With The People Of Joplin, Missouri

Joplin, Missouri is smack dab in the middle of nowhere, and most people had never even heard of it until a week ago when one of the biggest and most destructive tornados in U.S. history devastated the small town. However, to me, Joplin isn’t just a name I saw on the news alongside gut-wrenching photos of a city in ruins. I’ve visited Joplin a number of times over the past several years for their annual JoMoPro BMX contest at the non-profit youth outreach organization known as The Bridge and have come to know some of the people who call Joplin home very well. Having lived in Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, this type of catastrophe really hits home, and knowing that a place and its people I care about so much was affected by Mother Nature like this is truly heartbreaking. My most sincere condolences go out to those in Joplin and all the people who lost a loved one in the storm, especially the family and friends of Lantz Hare, a 17 year old BMX rider who was a local at the The Bridge’s skatepark, Autumn Ramp Park.

Lantz Hare - BMX Rider - Joplin, Missouri

This is a photo of Lantz that I shot at JoMoPro in 2010.

Click here to read an article from USA Today about how The Bridge is working as a relief station to help their community. (Includes a photo I shot of Terry Adams.)

Here are links to a few ways you can help Joplin in this time of need:
Rebuild Joplin
The Bridge Joplin’s Official Web Site
The Bridge on Facebook

Here are a few links to some photo galleries from the damage done to Joplin:
The Big Picture
National Geographic
Buzz Feed

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