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Big-ticket donors aiding Joplin recovery

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Walmart Stores, Home Depot and Joplin-based TAMKO Building Products Inc. each has pledged $1 million to aid Joplin tornado recovery efforts, and PotashCorp of Saskatchewan Inc. has committed $500,000.

Both Walmart and Home Depot stores in Joplin were severely damaged in the May 22 tornado.

Officials at Bentonville-based Walmart (NYSE: WMT) said the retailer’s $1 million would be directed toward meeting essential needs of residents.

“We’re working to direct truckloads of water, food and other basic items to the area to help the community during this difficult time,” a Walmart statement said. “We’ll continue to work closely with the Salvation Army, Red Cross and other agencies to monitor further ways to help.”

Officials said there were injuries and fatalities inside its Supercenter at 1501 S. Range Line Road, store No. 59, and employees who implemented its severe weather safety plan helped save hundreds of lives.

The Home Depot Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Atlanta-based Home Depot (NYSE: HD) has dedicated $1 million for immediate relief, recovery and long-term rebuilding in Joplin, where only half of its 3110 E. 20th St. store was left standing. Seven bodies were recovered in the store's wreckage yesterday during a search and rescue operation, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Home Depot officials said the company would rebuild the store on the current site.

Separately, The Homer Fund, a charity for The Home Depot associates in need of emergency financial assistance, has launched a companywide Drive for Joplin campaign to help associates and their families affected by the tornado.

The American Red Cross Greater Ozarks Chapter is the recipient of $1 million from TAMKO and $500,000 from PotashCorp.

TAMKO, a Joplin manufacturer of roofing products founded in 1944, is coming off tornado rebuilding efforts at an Alabama plant.

"We want to support the recovery efforts that are required to alleviate the suffering caused by this massive disaster," President and CEO David Humphreys said in a news release. "Having just rebuilt our Tuscaloosa plant that was severely damaged by an April tornado, we know the impact of these storms on our own employees and others.

"We are hopeful that other Joplin businesses and community members will also make significant donations to help our hometown."

Officials said TAMKO's Joplin-area manufacturing facilities and its corporate headquarters were not damaged during Joplin's storm.

PotashCorp (NYSE: POT), which owns and operates a feed phosphate operation in Joplin, today was issuing a $500,000 check to the Greater Ozarks Chapter of the American Red Cross at its Joplin office, 410 S. Jackson St.

Additionally, PotashCorp will match its employees’ donations to relief efforts in Joplin.

“We are so grateful for this donation. It will make a huge difference in the recovery of those devastated by the tornado. In the midst of such pain, suffering and loss, it is uplifting to see a company step forward to do all they can to alleviate that pain,” Red Cross Regional CEO Debi Meed said in a news release.[[In-content Ad]]

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