Recovering from the storm, with help from the Red Cross and Joplin LTRC

On Sunday, May 22, 2011, a devastating EF5 tornado struck Joplin, Mo. leaving a six-mile long, one-mile-wide path of destruction, leaving hundreds homeless in mere moments. Brian Farley and his son Trenton were among those who lost everything that evening; everything but each other that is. Being a single parent isn’t easy, and making sure that Trenton has a warm meal in his tummy and a bath every evening has been the Brian’s focus for months.  “After the storm the Red Cross was there every day with food. They made sure that my boy didn’t go hungry when I couldn’t.”

Brian has been relying on the kindness of the community as he tries to get back on his feet, working to find a way to provide a home for his son. The home they were renting at the time of the tornado was completely destroyed.

Brian was able to purchase a home after almost a year of working and saving, but it was structurally unsound and could not be lived in without major repairs.

He met his Red Cross Disaster Case Manager when he felt he had no place to turn. She was able to connect him to Rebuild Joplin and the Dept. of Veterans Affairs and a program they had for helping Veterans.

“They stepped in and sent a team of volunteers to make us a new home. I see so much love here going into this house for Trenton and it’s hard to put my feelings of gratitude into words. I know that we will always be surrounded by that love.”

The American Red Cross is deeply grateful to the people, businesses and organizations that have so generously supported our disaster relief efforts in Joplin. Brian and Trenton have moved into their new home and are doing well. They will always remember the Red Cross volunteers and how the community came together to keep them from getting lost.

“We are grateful for those who gave their time. They kept us from falling through the cracks. We can stay together and that is the most important thing in the world to me.” ~ Brian Farley

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at


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