When latakoo team member Kate Padilla heard about the tornado that tore through Joplin, Missouri in late May, she wanted to go. Kate wanted to help that community and more urgently, she wanted to check on her grandparents who lived in the nearby town of Nixa, Missouri. Nixa is a suburb of Springfield, Missouri. Springfield is the closest town to Joplin, where storm victims could find safety, housing, and help. Kate’s grandparents, though untouched physically by the storm, still felt the overwhelming emotional impact of the crippling storm.
Kate’s grandfather, Wayne Byerly is 85-years-old and Kate’s grandmother, Betty Byerly is 78. While Mr. and Mrs. Byerly both wanted to head into Joplin and help, they have physical limitations that prohibited such a trip. Knowing how important it was to the elder Byerlys, younger members of the family volunteered to go and help. Kate’s sister and mother traveled to Joplin for a day and cleaned up a house devastated by the tornado.
Kate wanted to go, but since she couldn’t make it from Texas to Joplin at the time, her sister shared video via latakoo. Thanks to Allison Gorter and Karen Gorter for doing what they could for the citizens of Joplin. And, thanks also for shooting this video, sending it to Kate, and allowing us to share it with others as well.
–Words by Jade Kurian
–Video by Steve Kline