On May 22, 2011, Joplin Missouri was devastated by a tornado which decimated the community and forever changed the city's residents lives and memories to a before and after that tragic date. NPR.org had a compelling photo essay featuring the amazing photographs of Aaron Fuhrman. Using screen grabs from Google's street views and Mr. Furhman's photos, they documented a heart-wrenching before and after view of this one American city.
This is the same street before and after May 22nd. The after photo with its scarred landscape, crumbling buildings and scarce human activity has an eery almost post-apocalyptic look to it.
For some reason, more than the countless hours of coverage dedicated to this tragedy on the nightly news, these photos compelled me to donate funds to one of the many organizations on the ground in Joplin which are offering food and shelter to the homeless victims. I donated to the American Red Cross, but if you'd prefer another organization, you can visit the official Missouri State website which offers a list of reputable organizations you can donate to or where you can volunteer. Every little bit of help, every penny, every dollar, can make a big difference, especially if we all participate. If your financial situation is prohibitive of even the smallest of monetary donations, then please let your prayers be your donation for I'm sure they are very much needed.