Farmers is founded on the guiding principle of caring for each other and our communities. With this principle as our guide, Farmers has made a major commitment to help the community of Joplin, Missouri fully recover and rebuild from the devastating tornado that struck more than two years ago.
On May 22, 2011, Joplin, Missouri was hit with an F5 tornado that took 161 lives and damaged or destroyed 8,000 homes and businesses in the area. Despite the best collective efforts of so many, over 300 homes remain un-built and countless others have moved out of the area or continue to live with relatives.
With a renewed focus and commitment, Farmers has provided resources in the way of assets, knowledge and people to showcase the power of our company and our compassion for our customers and non-customers in the effort to rebuild Joplin.
Beginning in late May of this year, Farmers joined forces with two organizations that have helped lead the recovery efforts: Rebuild Joplin and the St. Bernard Project. These two partner charities have been working tirelessly for almost two years since the tornado to help Joplin completely recover. By working with them, we have made tremendous strides in helping return families to their homes.
You can join the effort through a charitable donation, volunteering yourself or simply letting others know about our ongoing recovery efforts through rebuildjoplin.org. Together we can help rebuild what was lost and learn the true value of Farmers Caring for Communities.
Through an employee volunteer program at Farmers, we have been sending our own staff to help in the rebuilding effort. Throughout this year we will send over one-hundred Farmers employees to help Joplin families return to their home. The Joplin community has embraced Farmers as an organization that cares about their recovery and every volunteer has a unique story to tell about their time spent in Joplin. Everyone at Farmers knows the value of helping a deserving community like Joplin get back on their feet, and we hope you feel the same way. One volunteer shared his story in the local newspaper that you can read here.
On Friday, August 16, a family in Joplin celebrated their homecoming thanks to Farmers and the Rebuild Joplin team. Debbie and Albert stood on the porch as the home was dedicated and the yellow ribbon cut. Four different groups of Farmers volunteers contributed their labor to the completion of this home. Tasks that the Farmers volunteers performed included: hanging dry wall, taping dry wall, sanding, texturing, painting, laying ceramic tile and laminated flooring, installing trim, and hanging closet doors and shelves. The number of volunteer hours invested in this home was over 1,500 in a ninety day period, and the amount of money that was saved in the construction of this home due to the volunteers' efforts was $29,000. As part of the housewarming, Farmers presented the couple with a housewarming bucket that included a fire extinguisher, a carbon monoxide detector, and a smoke detector. After the ceremony, Albert said, "I never expected to be able to return to this home again. To be able to raise my two grandchildren here and give them a safe and clean environment is a dream come true."
Click here to view local coverage of the event.
Farmers employee and long distance bike rider Bob Hannemann, completed an 800 mile bike ride from Joplin to New Orleans. The journey was part of a fundraising event to support families still struggling after disaster, including the Joplin community, which continues to rebuild after the devastating 2011 tornado. Bob personally raised over $10,000 during the 10-day charity bike ride from Joplin to New Orleans that took place in late June. Since then Bob has been honored several times for his heroic efforts. On the last day of the ride Bob literally pushed one of his riding partners 25 miles to the finish since he was too injured to continue. Los Angeles radio station KNX 1070 recognized his effort as a “Hero of the Week” for extraordinary contributions to the community. Listen to Bob's KNX interview here.
Farmers will send hundreds of volunteers to Joplin this year, but one recent volunteer received more attention than most. NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne pulled into Joplin on Wednesday Oct. 2, helping Farmers and Rebuild Joplin speed up the move in date for one lucky resident.
Kahne joined employee volunteers from Farmers and representatives from Rebuild Joplin to install siding at a house located in the center of the tornado zone. The local media and residents turned out in force to greet Kahne and celebrate Farmers commitment to their community.
“It has been a special experience to take part in Farmers’ efforts in rebuilding Joplin for the future,” Kahne said. “Whether in Joplin or other communities throughout the country, I am proud to be affiliated with a company so committed to helping people plan for the future and restore their lives after a loss.”