ATLANTA, June 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Some of the top companies in Georgia are coming together today to aid tornado victims in Joplin, Mo.
Almost 200 volunteers from The Home Depot® have flown into Joplin courtesy of a Delta Air Lines chartered Boeing 757 to perform a number of activities, including installing "Blue Roofs" (blue tarps) over damaged homes, debris removal and general clean-up activities. The public can keep up with the day's activities through live updates, photos and videos by following The Home Depot on Twitter (@homedepot and @homedepotfdn).
Many of today's volunteers work at The Home Depot's Store Support Center in Atlanta and have been instrumental in helping the community and associates at the Company's destroyed Joplin store recover and in preparing for the opening of a new temporary store to serve customers. These volunteers add to the more than 500 Home Depot associates throughout the Midwest who have already made the trek to Joplin to volunteer their time and specialized skills to help with clean up and repair activities.In addition to volunteers, the Delta plane will also be carrying several thousand pounds of donated paper towels and industrial wipes from Georgia-Pacific. Chick-fil-A and Coca-Cola are providing food and water to keep The Home Depot volunteers fueled for the day's activities. "The people of Joplin, including one-third of our own associates, are still cleaning up and recovering from the damage done to their homes by the deadly tornado on May 22," said Kelly Caffarelli, president, The Home Depot Foundation. "The Home Depot's associates in Atlanta have been asking for the opportunity to go to Joplin to help the community and their fellow associates. Thanks to the generosity of Atlanta companies like Delta and Georgia-Pacific, we're making that happen today." Delta's aircraft, crew and logistics staffs are coordinating The Home Depot volunteers and Georgia-Pacific's cargo. The flight departed for Joplin at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, June 20 and will return to Atlanta later this evening. More than 25 Delta people are involved in the operational and logistical effort. The staff, aircraft and cargo space totals approximately $50,000 in support of the relief mission. "Delta has called Atlanta home for 70 years and seven decades of building relationships in this community, means that we band together to help those dealing with a tragedy like the tornado that powered through Joplin – whether the need is an ocean away or right in our back yard," said Tim Mapes, Delta's senior vice president - Marketing. "We're honored to partner with these other great Atlanta companies and pleased our expertise in transportation logistics is going towards this deserving cause today." Also delivered to assist Joplin relief efforts are an assortment of Dixie® paper plates, cups, utensils, napkins and other products donated by Georgia-Pacific to Convoy of Hope, a nonprofit organization dedicated to children's feeding programs, community outreach and disaster response in Joplin and other communities around the world. "The Home Depot and Georgia-Pacific have worked together for years to provide families with building products for constructing and remodeling their homes and their communities. Taking part in this relief effort continues our involvement with The Home Depot team, as well as with our fellow Atlanta companies, to support the people of Joplin as they rebuild their community," said Curley M. Dossman, Jr., president, Georgia-Pacific Foundation. Team Depot Volunteer Project Team Depot, The Home Depot's associate-led volunteer force, is working today with non-profit disaster relief organization Operation Blessing International to provide assistance to Joplin residents affected by the recent tornado. Associates are repairing and replacing the roof, windows and siding on a fellow Joplin associate's home, which was severely damaged by the tornado. In addition, Team Depot will be repairing and renovating the local Little League Park. This effort is part of The Home Depot's ongoing commitment to support Joplin and its residents as they rebuild. The Company has committed to rebuild its own store and The Home Depot Foundation has pledged $1 million to clean-up and rebuilding initiatives in the community. The Foundation has already distributed $250,000 of its commitment. In addition, 33 of The Home Depot's 93 associates in Joplin were impacted by the tornado. As a result, The Homer Fund, a nonprofit charity dedicated to help associates in times of need, has launched a companywide "Drive for Joplin" campaign. To date, The Homer Fund has distributed almost $40,000 of the $60,000 it has raised for Joplin associates. Temporary Store Opening Today's activities coincide with the opening of The Home Depot's 60,000 square-foot temporary store to serve the residents of Joplin. While the Company is in the process of rebuilding its permanent location, the temporary store will have many of the items customers expect to find at The Home Depot, with a focus on products and services residents need for the recovery and rebuilding process, including:
- lumber, drywall and roofing
- doors and windows
- electrical and plumbing
- paint and cleaning supplies
- tool rentals, including heavy equipment
- installation services for a wide range of home needs