Our activities in April for National Autism Awareness Month were a great success. Thanks to your support, we achieved our goal of serving 50,000 kids meals. That accomplishment enabled our $50,000 donation to two organizations that are leading the way for autism research and support for affected families: Autism Speaks and the Autism Society. If you kept an eye on this website last month, you learned about many individual heroes who have devoted their lives to helping this worthy cause. From an 11 year old who advocates for his brother, to the mother who was inspired to give back through the tragic loss of her son, April was filled with amazing stories. If you missed them, you can read all about our Carino's Autism Champions here.
This month we have shifted our attention to Joplin, Missouri. Today marks a difficult anniversary for our friends in Joplin. It was one year ago that a devastating EF-5 tornado tore through the town. While our Carino's family in Joplin was spared the worst, many homes, schools, churches and businesses were destroyed. The human loss was unspeakable.
In the days, weeks and months following the tornado, it has been inspiring to witness the strength and resolve of the Joplin community. Although five schools were destroyed and another five damaged, school still started on time in August. So many businesses were destroyed or damaged, yet almost all of them have already reopened or have begun rebuilding. Joplin has welcomed over 130,000 volunteers to assist in the recovery efforts.
As Joplin comes together again for a Day of Unity, Carino's is joining in the efforts. Each day this week we will deliver lunch to a group of first-responders. It is our pleasure to recognize some of those who selflessly maneuvered the debris, set aside their own personal losses and assisted their neighbors as best they could:
- Emergency room nurses at both St. John's Mercy Hospital and Freeman Hospital
- Joplin Fire Department
- Joplin Police Department
- Empire Electric, who worked tirelessly to restore power to the area
We know there are countless others who sacrificed and deserve recognition. To help show our appreciation to the entire Joplin community, we will also feature buy one, get one free entrées all day today, May 22nd.
To all of our friends and neighbors in Joplin: We join you in remembering what was lost, commemorating the recovery, and looking towards a brighter tomorrow.
Creed Ford III
President, Carino's Foundation
President and CEO, Carino's Italian