As Joplin marks the one-month anniversary of the tornado that struck the city, 45,304 volunteers have helped with clean-up efforts. In all, registered volunteers have contributed more than 207,105 hours helping Joplin residents clean up and begin to rebuild from this disaster. To put that number in perspective, that's more than 23 years' worth of work at a 24/7 pace in just these past four weeks.Miracle of the Human Spirit

To celebrate and commemorate this display of what Joplin is calling the “Miracle of the Human Spirit,” the city is extending an invitation to spend the weekend celebrating our nation's birthday by rolling up your sleeves and lending a pair of hands to help them recover. They promise you'll go home with a lifetime of experiences and memories that will make you feel proud to be an American.

At 6 p.m. on July 2 all volunteers are invited to Joplin's Cunningham Park, at the intersection of 26th and Maiden Lane, in the shadow of St. John's Mercy Hospital, for a free picnic meal and concert provided by Nashville recording artist Rich McCready ( Country singer Kaleb McIntire and internationally known Jah/Kings with Alexander Kofi are also scheduled to perform.

While the citizens of Joplin are extremely grateful for the assistance that has come in from all 50 states as well as internationally (Spain and Japan, among others), the work is far from over.

Many volunteers, giving many more hours, are still needed. To get involved, call 417-625-3543. Volunteer coordinators note that various jobs are available if you are unable to work in the neighborhoods moving debris.

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