It started with a phone call. The University of Arkansas wanted to donate 300 mattresses to the Cobblestone Project. Unsure of their future, we took them and loaded them in our Distribution Center.
When the tornado hit in Joplin, MO we had people calling, willing to help and wondering what action to take. We were soon made aware of immediate needs Joplin had. Water, food and shelter were at the top of the list, and because we had mattresses we knew we could help.
From that point on, different individuals and groups rallied together to help meet a specific need. The Church at Arkansas helped put us in contact with people in Joplin, helped load the mattresses, and transport them to Joplin.
Potter’s House ministry, through New Heights Church donated the use of their box truck to also transport mattresses. Students and leaders at Fellowship Bible Church helped load and unload the mattresses. We were able to deliver the mattresses to Calvary Baptist Church, Grace Church, and local emergency shelters.
While in Joplin, we were able to walk the streets, and witness first hand the destruction. To say it is bad is a complete understatement. There was nothing as far as our eyes could see.
While we were there, we met Nancy. She was sitting on the steps of her front porch, with trees and debris covering her yard and house. Nancy and her husband had lived on Wall Street for over 20 years. They had recently moved to a different part of town and were trying to sell their old home. They were safe from the tornado but as soon as it was over, Nancy and her husband could only think of their friends and family who still lived on Wall Street.
She told us stories of her neighbors who lived all around them, and began to cry as reality sat in that some of them were gone. We were able to talk and sit with her for a while. As we left, she told our group that although the unimaginable had happened, she had never seen her community so united. Nancy told us that although she was deeply burdened for her city, she knew she would be taken care of.
As we left Joplin that day we realized it was more than US giving THEM 300 mattresses, it was our local NWA community helping another local community in need.