'Samaritan's Purse' Group Helps Rebuild Homes For Joplin Tornado Victims

Monday, May 21st 2012, 10:40 pm
By: News 9

Nearly a year after the deadly tornado, and the support in Joplin is still strong. Many people are helping rebuild the community.

A number of volunteer organizations came to Joplin in the days and months directly after the storm, and at least one is still very much present. They're called "Samaritan's Purse."

Joplin Tornado Timeline

More than 6,000 volunteers, 357 days, one goal.

"We're called Samaritan's Purse, and people that are familiar with that story, about the good Samaritan know that we came in just after the days of the tornado and we put bandages on over 750 homes, we went in and put tarps on and helped people find their belongings and that, and just like in that story we come back and when we come back, as many as were able we try to put them back into a home," said Stephen Bergen with the organization.

About 20 homes will be rebuilt for tornado survivors. Sixty-nine-year-old Vietnam war veteran Joe Porter watches as his new home takes shape.

"I couldn't ask for anything better than that. I mean it takes a awhile for it to soak in," Porter said.

It's already soaked in for single mom of two, Misty Gamble. Her home, rebuilt from the ground up, is just about ready.

"I was overwhelmed with joy, I was work when they called me and told me, I was in tears and everybody was like are you ok, and I was like yah it's happy tears," Gamble said.

Builders incorporated brick from her father's fireplace to make if feel more like "home." She lost him two years ago this month.

"It was my dad's house and I took care of him in it, and he spent a lot of time around the fireplace, that was his room," Gamble said.

Both recipients say if it weren't for Samaritan's Purse, they would most likely never have a home to call their own again.

"To me they're angels. They've blessed me and so many people after the tornado," Gamble said.

"Samaritan's Purse" told News 9 the organization plans to remain in Joplin, helping families through the disaster for at least the next two years.

Twelve new homes are in the works right now and applications for more are still being accepted.