The University of Missouri athletic department is gathering emergency supplies today that basketball coach Frank Haith and other university staff members will drive to Joplin, Mo., on Thursday to help out victims of the devastating tornado that ripped through the southern Missouri city on Sunday evening.
Large bins have been set up on the east side of Hearnes Center in Columbia for local residents to donate items for use in the Joplin relief efforts. The initiative is being orchestrated in coordination with the United Way’s “United for Joplin” campaign.
Organizers of the activity are asking specifically for children’s food, sanitary items and stuffed animals.
“The images of the destruction in Joplin are absolutely devastating,” said Haith, who has been in the MU job only two months. "But at the same time, the sight of neighbor helping neighbor serves as inspiration for us all.
“We can’t change what happened on Sunday night, but if we can make life a little easier, you better believe we are going to try and do it,” he added.
Haith also is trying to work out an exhibition basketetball game between Missouri and Missouri Southern, a Division II school located in Joplin. The game would be played in November at Southern’s Young Gymnasium, which is being used currently as a temporary Red Cross shelter.