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  • Convoy of Hope Tornado Response | Download
  • Convoy of Hope volunteers Lynn Farr (L) and Jimmy Casey (R) help survivors find and sort personal belongings. | Download
  • Tornado survivor Lauri Jones and her relative, Carla White, reflect on the hopefulness in their community. | Download
  • Lauri Jones stands next to the tornado damaged minivan where she is currently living after the tornado destroyed her home. | Download
  • Convoy of Hope staff and volunteers offload relief supplies to be distributed in and around Vilonia, Ark. | Download
  • Volunteers move a pallet of water at a distribution site. | Download
  • Volunteers sift through debris in Vilonia, Ark. | Download
  • Members of Convoy of Hope's Disaster Services team meet with local leaders in Baxter Springs to discuss potential relief efforts. | Download
  • The tornado that moved through Baxter Springs, Kan. destroyed a reported 70-100 homes and businesses. | Download
  • Convoy of Hope Disaster Services assessment teams came across scenes like this one across the Midwest on Monday, April 28th, 2014. | Download
  • May 2, 2014 | 12:30PM

    Springfield, Mo.Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team has been working diligently to bring relief to survivors since this week’s tornadoes first showed up on the radar.

    “In total, we’ve shipped more than 107,895 pounds of relief supplies to Arkansas, Kansas and Mississippi,” says Chris Dudley, disaster services response director. “Our teams are working with local volunteers to distribute relief and assist homeowners with debris removal.”

    As of Thursday, May 1, volunteers had already put in a combined 800 hours of immediate relief work for tornado survivors.

    “People and organizations are pulling together,” said Jimmy Casey, a Convoy of Hope volunteer, as he carried a stack of large totes to Lauri and Dana Jones, homeowners who’d lost everything. “Convoy of Hope and their donors just want to help people — it’s beyond helpful, they’re giving out of their heart.”

    Jimmy and a team of Convoy of Hope volunteers helped the Jones’s sort through a pile of debris that was their home prior the EF-4 tornado that moved through Vilonia, Ark., on Sunday, April 27th. Lauri, her husband Dana and their dog Roscoe, survived the storm in an underground shelter but now lived in a tornado damaged Toyota minivan with a tent draped over the missing windows. Despite their situation the couple remains positive. “We feel blessed that we’re even able to be out here to deal with this,” said Dana who went on to point out the homes of neighbors who’d been severely injured.

    “There’s just no words I can really put it into other than grateful and blessed and really appreciative for what Convoy of Hope is doing for us right now.” said Lauri, as Convoy of Hope volunteers worked behind her. “Don’t wallow in what’s around you, just look forward, because better things will happen, better things will come.”

    • Lauri Jones, stands in front of the remnants of her home (R) and the tornado damaged minivan that she has been living in (L.) Lauri Jones, stands in front of the remnants of her home (R) and the tornado damaged minivan that she has been living in (L.)
    • Jimmy Casey, a Convoy of Hope volunteer, at a clean up site. Jimmy Casey, a Convoy of Hope volunteer, at a clean up site.
  • April 30, 2014 | 1:45PM

    VILONIA, ARK.Our Disaster Services teams and volunteers are distributing debris removal supplies and food to tornado survivors. In doing so, they are not only bringing much-needed supplies to families in need they are giving people a sense of hope.

    “We’re distributing trash bags, trash cans, shovels, rakes and other cleanup supplies along with grocery bags full of easy to prepare or ready-to-eat food,” says Nick Wiersma, Disaster Services Community Engagement Director. “In doing so, we’re being afforded opportunities to come alongside families who are hurting.”

    Yesterday, Convoy of Hope volunteers approached what was left of Carol Arnett’s grandson’s home in Vilonia and offered to help the family clean up.

    “When you’re down to nothing, God is up to something,” said Arnett, standing in the rubble of the home, where her grandson, Daniel Wasson, a 31-year-old Air Force veteran, died while protecting his daughters from the tornado.

    “This is why we’re here,” said Wiersma. “This family is hurting in so many ways, they need some help.”

    The volunteers, all from a local church in Vilonia, spent the day with Arnett and her family, cleaning, sorting through the rubble and providing words of encouragement.

    “You don’t know how valuable the resources are that Convoy of Hope offers until you are in a place when you need them,” said one local leader. “When you’re donating to Convoy of Hope, it’s about more than just you. It’s about more than just your community, it’s about thinking of others.”

    Tonight, a tractor-trailer load of food, water and cleaning supplies will arrive in Louisville, Miss., where a tornado touched down yesterday.

    • Carol stands amidst the rubble of her grandson’s home in Vilonia, Ark. Carol stands amidst the rubble of her grandson’s home in Vilonia, Ark.
  • April 29, 2014 | 11:30AM

    Springfield, Mo.Our Disaster Services Team sent tractor-trailer loads of supplies to Baxter Springs, Kan., and Vilonia, Ark., this morning to aid tornado survivors in those communities. The load of supplies arrived in Baxter Springs shortly after 9:00 a.m. while the load headed for Arkansas is expected to arrive this afternoon.

    “The food, water and supplies will be distributed throughout the communities by our Disaster Services team members and with the help of local volunteers,” says Chris Dudley, disaster services response director.

    According to Dudley, the Convoy of Hope Disaster Services team will continue to identify needs and bring help and hope to those impacted from severe weather in Kansas, Arkansas and elsewhere.

    Yesterday more storms and tornadoes struck in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi killing at least 11 people and leveling dozens of homes and businesses.

    “We are working with our on-the-ground partners in all states impacted by the storms,” says Dudley.

    • Tornado damage in Baxter Springs, Kan. Tornado damage in Baxter Springs, Kan.
  • April 28, 2014 | 3:30PM

    Springfield, Mo.Disaster Services assessment teams have established contacts in the tornado affected communities of Baxter Springs, Kan., and Vilonia, Ark., and plans for response are being formulated.

    We’re sending a full load of aid to Baxter Springs for mobile distribution including food, water and assorted cleaning supplies. Local church volunteers will carry out the distribution efforts.

    "Convoy of Hope gives hope to a community," says Dallas Satterfield, pastor of Baxter Springs First Assembly of God. "We don't have the resources or the man power to do this, but with Convoy of Hope we can help our community."

    Contact has been made in Vilonia with a local church partner. The assessment team has requested a full load of product for Vilonia. At this time, homeowners are not allowed into the impacted area.

    We also have an assessment team en route to Mayflower, Ark., to establish face-to-face contact with local pastors and Emergency Management Officials.

    “We’re also closely monitoring an ongoing tornado outbreak occurring this afternoon in Mississippi and the southern U.S.,” says Chris Dudley, disaster services response director.

    • Dallas Satterfield points to where the debris field was moving when he ran into his church that sheltered more than 100 people during the Baxter Springs tornado. Dallas Satterfield points to where the debris field was moving when he ran into his church that sheltered more than 100 people during the Baxter Springs tornado.
  • April 28, 2014 | 10:00AM

    Springfield, Mo. Our Disaster Services assessment teams are en route to Quapaw, Okla., Baxter Springs, Kan., and central Arkansas communities where tornadoes caused extensive damage yesterday.

    “Our prayers are with the families whose lives have been impacted by these storms,” says Hal Donaldson, president and co-founder of Convoy of Hope. “Our teams will provide crucial information that will help us as we make plans in the coming days and monitor additional severe weather forecasted in these areas throughout the week.”

    Convoy of Hope is monitoring current severe weather forecasted to impact the Central and Southern U.S. throughout the week.

    • A Convoy of Hope Disaster Services team assesses tornado damage and needs in Baxter Springs, Kan. A Convoy of Hope Disaster Services team assesses tornado damage and needs in Baxter Springs, Kan.
  • April 27, 2014 | 11:00PM

    Springfield, Mo.Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team is closely monitoring the developing severe weather outbreak in the Midwest from our operations center in Springfield, Mo. The Associated Press is reporting multiple tornado outbreaks across Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas.

    “We’re in a developing situation when it comes to storm damage and subsequent communities affected so we’re closely monitoring damage reports,” says Chris Dudley, disaster services response director. “We’ll be monitoring this situation throughout the night and through the day tomorrow.”

    Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team also responded to both the Joplin, Mo., and Moore, Okla., tornadoes and will continue to develop disaster response efforts as severe weather impacts the U.S.

    • Image courtesy of NOAA/NWS Image courtesy of NOAA/NWS

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Response Map

Country Name Vilonia Arkansas USA

About The Disaster

A powerful storm system moved through the central and southern U.S. spawning a number of deadly and destructive tornadoes. Extensive damage has been reported in Quapaw, Okla., Baxter Springs, Kan., and in the suburbs of Little Rock, Ark. The tornadoes have killed at least 18 people and left many homeless.

Key Stats

  • Tractor trailer trucks full of food, water and debris removal supplies have been sent to Baxter, Springs, Kan., Vilonia and Mayflower, Ark., and Mississippi to provide relief for tornado survivors. 
  • Distribution of supplies is occurring in Baxter Springs as well as Vilonia and Mayflower.
  • Coordination of volunteers is ongoing in disaster zones by coordinating with local partners. 
  • Volunteers are helping with supply distribution as well as debris removal. 

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