Partnerships inspiring educational achievement and developing community success.

 Bright Futures Joplin |
February 2014
Coordinator's Report:  The Road Behind Us. The Road Ahead.

Prior to beginning this role as the Bright Futures Joplin Coordinator, I had the distinct privilege of serving as a charter member of the BF Human Services Committee. I remember the first Bright Futures Breakfast where incredible people shared their stories and their passion for this endeavor.  I left the breakfast with tear -stained cheeks, eager to jump on board! Our team began tirelessly working to identify ways we could support this mission, as did the business and faith-based partner committees. We started the Eagle Angel Fund and the first Bright Futures Joplin Facebook page.  It was INCREDIBLE to see the community's response as the first needs began filtering into the Facebook newsfeed.  

In less than 14 minutes (the longest recorded time it took to get a need met that year), every need was met.  EVERY need.  It was awesome to see the love that Joplin had for kids.  The energy was contagious!

And then there was the tornado

Immediately after the May 22 tornado, Joplin dove in head first - digging and moving and salvaging and rebuilding. Bright Futures was gifted resources to take care of our students and our families, and we did that. Hundreds of families were helped through these resources, and slowly we've rebuilt together.  

Now after nearly three years, Joplin is a very different city. Not only does the landscape look different, but each of us are different. We are stronger. We are more focused. We have creases in our brows representing the hours and hours of selfless work and giving that we've done to walk through this tragedy together. 

But if you're anything like me, I have felt tired this last year. More selective about where I give and serve. Less apt to jump in with things.  Ready for a season of rest....and that's okay! We all need those seasons to recoup and regroup.

Coming into this role, I'm seeing from the inside how this exhaustion is impacting our schools and our kids.  The community that has given and given has been pulling back a bit.  GREAT things are still going on, but we're seeing Facebook posts with needs going unnoticed.  Requests for volunteers are going unfilled.  Teachers who are struggling to find room parents to help with parties and activities. 

But all of those kids that we started this
thing to serve still need us.  Though we have changed, our mission has not changed

If you are one of those that are weary and need a break, I encourage you to take one. Get some rest.  But when you're done...we need you.  Let me say that again...our KIDS need you!  We have 56 TREK coaches who tutor kids each week - but we have dozens of kids who are waiting for a TREK coach. We have 97 Lunch Pals, but HUNDREDS that need a mentor. Although we have a distribution center that served 176 kids this month, we are constantly in need of items that we don't have. 

The road behind is pretty incredible - we've done amazing things in this community.  So thank you - THANK YOU! But let us not forget the road that is still before us. Together, we can fulfill the mission of a brighter future for every child.

Serving together,


Melissa Winston

Bright Futures Joplin Coordinator

Bright Futures Council News

Welcome New Business Partner


Bright Futures Joplin is excited to announce that we have a new business partner who will be serving on our Bright Futures Council at Jefferson Elementary.  We'd like to extend a special welcome to Walgreens.


We are excited to have you on board! Please stop by Walgreens and thank them for partnering with our schools.


We are looking for additional business partners at several of our schools to serve on their Bright Futures Councils.  If you have a colleague that you think might be interested in serving, tell them how much you love it, and send them our way.

Bright Futures Joplin Distribution Center Needs You
For the last three years, Darla Armstrong has worked tirelessly to make the Distribution Center a reality so that Bright Futures Joplin can efficiently meet the needs of kids in the Joplin district. This year, Andy Hamon came as a Ameri-Corps VISTA, and together Darla and Andy have done incredible things. As Andy's VISTA term comes to an end, Darla is needing all hands on deck to keep up the momentum.  If you might be interested in serving one three-hour shift per week in the Distribution Center, we'd love to have you!  You can email Dale Peterson or call (417) 625-5200, ext. 2031.

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In This Issue
2014 Volunteer Breakfast Coming April 8th!
Save the Date

The 2014 Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast will be held on Tuesday, April 8 at the new East Middle School Auditorium from 7:30-9:00 a.m.  We would like to invite anyone who has volunteered in the Joplin School District to join us. Please RSVP by emailing Melissa Winston or calling (417) 625-5200, ext. 2229. 

A Special Thank You
For the past 5 months, My Sister's Closet in Joplin, MO has been donating juniors' and women's clothing to Bright Futures Joplin.  The Distribution Center is always in need of teen girl's clothing, so these donations are a HUGE help! 

Bright Futures Joplin wants to say a big "Thank You Very Much" to the owner, Joyce, for past, present, and future donations.  
How You Can Help
We are in special need of these items:
  • Men's and women's deoderant
  • Girl's underwear (sizes 6-10)
  • Boy's underwear (sizes 6-10)
  • Men's underwear (sizes small & med.)
  • Women's underwear (sizes 6-12) and bras (all sizes)
  • Boys' sweat pants (sizes 5-14)
  • Girl's sweatpants and jeans (sizes 5-14)
  • Women's/junior's sized jeans and shirts
  • Children's and adult's socks
Items can be brought to the Bright Futures Joplin Distribution Center in the Joplin Schools Administration Building located at 3901 E. 32nd. For more information, email or call (417) 625-5200 ext. 2339. 
Upcoming Events: Bright Futures Joplin Celebrity Golf Tournament
Mark your calendars for the Bright Futures Joplin 4th Annual Celebrity Golf Tournament May 9. Registration forms are coming soon.
Wear Jeans.  Support Bright Futures.  Win/Win!
I dont know about you, but I would pay just about anything to wear jeans to work.  And if I knew I could pay just $5 to helping kids succeed in school AND wear jeans...that'd be a serious win for me!  What about you?

We invite all area businesses to have a Jeans Day for Bright Futures this coming April 17.  All you do is let your team know, wear your favorite jeans, collect your cash, and support kids. Couldn't be much easier than that! To join in, call Katie at (417) 625-5200, ext. 2039.
417-625-5200 ext. 2229| |
3901 E 32nd St
Joplin, MO 64804

Bright Futures Joplin |February 2014

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