JOPLIN, Mo. - This Memorial Day, families continue to pick up pieces of their lives in Joplin. American flags are flying high as they sift through the rubble.
Memorial Day in Joplin looks like a disaster zone. Parts of Main Street and entire neighborhoods were ravaged by the massive tornado. But the American spirit is alive and well here. Stories of survival can be found everywhere you turn.
Tina Bickett's home was spared. But her daughter and four-year-old grandson barely escaped the tornado's wrath.
"The house fell on top of them, the boards and stuff. She had nails sticking out of her, glass in her feet," Bickett said.
Her daughter Megan, two months pregnant, huddled in a closet with her son. She held a mattress over their heads for protection. When Tina was reunited with her family--
"I was so grateful, it was a miracle," she said.
This holiday, their family is salvaging what they can. A photo here-- a painting there. Volunteers are there to help them pick up what's left.
"The people have been tremendous, the volunteers. There has been food, people every hour offering food and water, and lots of help," Bickett said.
Volunteers like Tulsan Amber Simms rushed to Joplin to help.
"It's just amazing they survived, it's one of the worst houses on the street," Simms said.
She says the destruction in Joplin hits too close to home.
"I would hope people would band together in the surrounding areas and come to Tulsa if something like this ever happens to us," she said.
donate online or send checks to:
Attn: JOPLIN RECOVERY
P.O. Box 14507
St. Louis, MO 63178-0507
The American Red Cross
You can text the word REDCROSS to 90999 make a $10 donation. Or send checks to:
Greater Ozarks Chapter, American Red Cross
1545 N. West ByPass
Springfield, MO 65803
Humane Society of Missouri
text SAVEPETS to 20222 to donate $10 to animal rescue efforts in Joplin.
To volunteer, go to the official Missouri state website: