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Local Relief Effort Goes To Joplin
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A small caravan of Gilton Solid Waste Management trucks are making their way to Joplin, Missouri today, Wednesday, June 1 to deliver much-needed relief supplies to the tornado-ravaged town. Gilton and members of Oakdale’s Nazarene church have been collecting supplies such as non-perishable foods, bottled water, new clothes and bedding, sanitary supplies, and much more for the trip.
Late in the evening on Monday, May 23, Oakdale High School senior Lauren Boster, also a member of the Nazarene church, had a discussion with her parents regarding television reports about the deadly tornado that ripped through Joplin the day before and she felt compelled to do something.
“I was upset… They don’t have anything,” Boster said. “We helped with (hurricane) Katrina and Haiti (earthquake). Why not do something here?”
She talked to her parents about her desire to tie-in her graduation ceremony to help with the relief efforts. Since her father and others from her church were going with members of the Gilton family to Joplin, she thought that maybe she could get the high school to host a supply collection truck during graduation.
“I love helping people,” Boster said, adding that she’s done a lot of community service through school and this seemed like a natural fit.
The next morning she went to school Principal Mike Moore before graduation practice and told him what her church and the Gilton’s were doing and asked his permission to park a truck in front of the stadium during the OHS graduation where people could drop off items for the tornado relief effort.
Boster said that Principal Moore was supportive of her idea and told her to do it. After graduation practice that day, former OHS Principal Rick Jones who was on hand to help, asked her if she wanted to say something to the seniors. Unprepared, she did a mini-presentation to her classmates and got a good response.
She also took to Facebook, wrote a letter about the cause and sent it to all her Facebook friends. Another announcement was made on Wednesday after graduation practice and people began asking Boster for more information. Moore then asked her for her Facebook letter and handed it off to a vice principal who then had the information go out via the school district’s automated phone system on Thursday, May 26 to all the high school parents telling them about Boster’s plan, asking them to bring items to donate when they came to watch the graduation.
“I was incredibly surprised… It was awesome,” Boster said of the phone system announcement and how the whole plan gained steam.
Additionally, information was posted to the KAT Country and KAMB event calendars, hoping to get the word out further through the local radio stations.
As planned, a truck was parked in the bus circle in front of the OHS gym on May 27 waiting to collect donated items before and during the graduation ceremony. Items collected were offloaded to the Gilton trucks to make the trip to Joplin.