Seven Months Later, Joplin, Missouri Stronger Than Ever
Enrollment counselor Aaron Johnson recently returned from a holiday trip to the Joplin, Missouri area which was devastated by a tornado on May 22 and he was pleasantly surprised at the changes and the cleanup he saw. The last time Johnson had seen his home town was in June when he and a team from GCU drove a van full of clothing and supplies donated by faculty and staff to give to families affected by the disaster. The destruction he had seen then had been sobering.READ MORE
Traveling Team Makes a Missions Stop at GCU
A Ford minivan filled with four people, fueled by Jesus’ Great Commission and stopping at every college campus on the map is no ordinary vehicle. It’s a four-wheeled missile for world change. “If there’s a revolution you want to start, take it to college students,” reasons Morgan Parker, who visited the GCU campus on Tuesday evening along with three other representatives of The Traveling Team.READ MORE
Nursing Exchange Trip to China Called ‘Phenomenal’
The conical straw hats and Antelope T-shirts gave them away as a 16-member contingent from GCU returned home Monday evening from an 18-day nursing exchange in China. Dean Anne McNamara of the College of Nursing organized a welcoming party at Sky Harbor International Airport for the 12 graduate students and four faculty members who had flown nearly 16 hours, showing up exhausted but exhilarated by all they had seen and done.READ MORE
Slideshow: Photos from Joplin
Russ Pennell, GCU’s head coach for men’s basketball, grew up 20 miles from Joplin. Mo., and describes the May 22 tornado as “a little surreal.” Troy Hill, his best friend from their high school days in Pittsburg, Kan., is an accountant in Joplin and lives less than two miles from the worst destruction. Although his house was not damaged, Hill was without power for eight days. “He says it looks like a war zone,” Pennell says. Tornado warnings are commonplace for residents of southwestern Missouri and southeastern Kansas. “People live with that,” says Pennell, who played in games at Joplin High School and visited people at St. John’s Hospital, both of which were obliterated by the savage storm. With its population of 50,000, Joplin was the “big city” to those who lived in smaller Pittsburg. “It was where you went when you wanted to get out of town,” Pennell says. The GCU relief team of Aaron Johnson, Jose Moreno and Jennifer Willis made it back to campus shortly before 5 p.m. Monday. Over the weekend, they personally delivered clothing and supplies to four families displaced by the tornado.READ MORE
The Drive to Joplin: A Traveler’s Diary
“GCU’s Drive to Joplin,” a clothing and supplies drive to assist four families devastated by the recent tornado in Joplin, Mo., was conducted over a three-day period at the University’s main campus and Tempe and Peoria sites. Joplin is the hometown of Enrollment Counselor Aaron Johnson, who is personally delivering the donations along with GCU’s community outreach manager, Jose Moreno.
Jennifer Willis of our Communications staff is along for the ride and blogging from the trip.
GCU Team on the Road to Joplin!
GCU’s tornado-relief team of three — Enrollment Counselor Aaron Johnson, Community Outreach Manager Jose Moreno and Communications Specialist Jennifer Willis — hit the road Thursday morning for southwestern Missouri. They’re planning to stop in Amarillo, Texas, for the night and be in Joplin, Mo., by late afternoon Friday. The generous donations of GCU employees and the Phoenix community filled a van and a U-Haul trailer with clothing and toiletries. The rest of the donations collected will be transported by semi to Joplin in the next week to 10 days. Gift cards with a total value of more than $1,200 also were donated and are being taken along by the team. A special ’Lopes Up to staffers who helped sort clothing and supplies and load the van and trailer Wednesday afternoon and evening at McKinley Hall. The can-do crew included Chad Troxel, Chrystal Phillips, Lanae Benser, Geneva Dellabitta, Atiya Bynum, Ericka Rodriguez Vazquez, James Orosco, Tristan Crooks, Sean Piper, Clinton Harris, Heather DiFrancesco and Ami Francisco.READ MORE
GCU Drive Receives Suns, Mercury Support
The clothing and supplies drive for residents of Joplin, Mo., displaced by the May 22 tornado received news coverage Wednesday morning by Channels 3, 10 and 12 from US Airways Center in downtown Phoenix. The Suns and Mercury collected toiletries for the drive at the arena’s Casino Arizona Pavilion. GCU was represented by Thunder, members of the Event Services team and Community Outreach Manager Jose Moreno. Boxes were donated by Quick Product Solutions. GCU’s team of three — Moreno, Enrollment Counselor Aaron Johnson (a Joplin native) and Communications Specialist Jennifer Willis — will leave for southwestern Missouri early Thursday morning in a van packed with donations. You can follow them via daily updates on Herd on Campus.READ MORE