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Leggett & Platt leads second wave of Joplin donations

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A $1 million pledge by Carthage-based Leggett & Platt Inc. (NYSE: LEG) is leading a second wave of corporate donations to recovery efforts in tornado-ravaged Joplin.

Leggett & Platt, a manufacturer of engineered products and components, has said more than 60 of its Joplin-area employees were directly affected by the storm, including one who was killed along with his wife. In addition to the corporate donation, the company has established a benevolent fund through Community Foundation of the Ozarks.

Walmart Stores (NYSE: WMT), TAMKO Building Products and Home Depot (NYSE: HD) quickly stepped forward, each donating $1 million in the days following the May 22 EF-5 tornado that has killed at least 123, according to the state Department of Public Safety. The storm damaged or destroyed an estimated 7,000 structures and 450 businesses as it swept through Joplin’s commercial district on Range Line Road.

Yesterday, Springfield Cardinals Vice President and General Manager Matt Gifford and three players traveled to Joplin with Convoy of Hope, in part, to encourage and thank the volunteers on the ground. Gifford said he and players Matt Adams, Zack Cox and Ryan Jackson visited with volunteers at Convoy of Hope’s distribution center and an American Red Cross mobile feeding van, as well as residents, some of whom Gifford said were standing amid ankle-high debris of their high homes and sifting through the rubble.

“We went into the heart of the devastation and handed out caps and coins,” Gifford said. “(The help) has been amazing. This mom I talked to is getting gift cards and donations from people she doesn’t even know.”

The Cardinals Double-A club also donated $25,000 to Convoy of Hope and raised another $8,000 through fan contributions during games at Hammons Field.

Other businesses have poured financial aid into the city:
  • ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) is contributing $500,000 to the Greater Ozarks Chapter of the American Red Cross and will match donations made by its U.S. employees.
  • Bank of America is donating $200,000. Half of the donation will fund immediate needs of the American Red Cross, while the remaining $100,000 will go toward long-term recovery efforts to restore basic medical services and fund the rebuilding of homes and schools. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation also will match employee pledges, and the company said it would not limit its overall relief donation.
  • U.S. Bancorp is donating $100,000: $50,000 to the Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri-Joplin Recovery Fund, $25,000 to the Greater Ozarks Chapter of the American Red Cross and $25,000 to the United Way, as well as collecting donations at its 12 southwest Missouri branches for the Greater Ozarks Chapter of the American Red Cross. “We are all still somewhat shaken as we know and care about so many people in the Joplin area,” said John S. Wilson, U.S. Bank South Central Missouri region president in Springfield, in a news release. “By doing what we can to help out, we feel that Joplin can recover that much quicker.”
  • The BNSF Foundation, the charitable arm of BNSF Railway Co., is donating $100,000 to the Greater Ozarks Chapter of the American Red Cross.
  • A partnership of 11 area banks has collected more than $56,000, including corporate matches, for the American Red Cross. The banks are Guaranty Bank, Liberty Bank, BancorpSouth, Empire Bank, Great Southern Bank, Metropolitan National Bank, U.S. Bank, OakStar Bank, Springfield First Community Bank, Peoples Bank of the Ozarks and Old Missouri Bank.
  • Verizon Wireless and the Verizon Foundation donated $50,000 to the Greater Ozarks Chapter of the American Red Cross, and the company is deploying mobile cell towers to the area; providing courtesy phones to emergency workers; and setting up a mobile cell phone charging station and Internet access point for all wireless device users.
  • The Commerce Bancshares Foundation and the William T. Kemper Foundation are donating a combined $50,000. “We hope these grants join with others in helping address immediate needs such as shelter, food, clothes and other daily essentials, and enable our Joplin neighbors and friends to recover from this tragic event as soon as possible,” said Jonathan Kemper, co-trustee of the William T. Kemper Foundation and vice chairman of Commerce Bank, in a news release. Commerce sustained damage at two of its Joplin branches.
  • LaBarge Inc., an electronics manufacturing services provider, established the LaBarge Joplin Tornado Relief Fund through Community Foundation of the Ozarks with a $50,000 contribution. The company is matching employee contributions.
  • The Precious Moments Family of Cos. in Carthage is donating $25,000 to the Greater Ozarks Chapter of the American Red Cross. The company also committed 100 percent of net proceeds of the Precious Moments figurine called What The World Needs Now as well as 10 percent of net proceeds of sales at through June 3.
  • Mid-Missouri Bank donated $25,000 to Ozarks Food Harvest. The bank’s 14 branches, including four in Joplin and Webb City, also are accepting monetary gifts on behalf of the food bank.
  • Springfield trucking company Prime Inc. contributed more than $10,000 for food and supplies to the Red Cross, sent on two 53-foot refrigerated trailers, and supplied water to Freeman Hospital in Joplin, transported from a nearby city with its tanker trucks. “We are only doing our part,” Prime President Robert Low said in a news release. “We have business interest on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I vividly recall the devastation left there in the wake of Katrina and how important and appreciated the relief efforts were to our 1,100 Biloxi associates whose homes and personal belongings were destroyed. Joplin is reminiscent of that same devastation; our hearts go out to all the people affected. It’s our chance to do for others what others did for us.”
Other corporations that have announced donations include Kohl’s and Love’s Travel Stops, $150,000; GM, $100,000; Ford and RBC, $50,000; and Wells Fargo, $30,000.[[In-content Ad]]


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