Message from the Chancellor

UMKC offers assistance, support for Joplin tornado relief efforts

The news reports from Joplin following the devastating tornado that struck that area continue. The UMKC community joins others in offering our sympathy to the families of those who died and our hope to the hundreds of individuals displaced, distressed, and traumatized by this disaster.

During the recovery process, each of us can help the many individuals who have been affected by this event. Numerous organizations have stepped in to help and are accepting donations to provide temporary shelter, clean water, food and much needed medical supplies: the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and Heart to Heart International are just a few. I urge you to find a reliable agency and to make a contribution.

The Dean’s office at the School of Nursing has been in contact with the Red Cross and some of our partner hospitals to understand what the needs are in the area as it relates to medical professionals. The Red Cross has offered a special website where medical professionals can go to register and indicate their willingness to volunteer. To register please go to: UMKC alumni may be contacted by their professional organizations as well, and we are hearing now that many of those organizations are coordinating those efforts through the Red Cross.

For our own UMKC family who may need assistance, the UMKC Counseling Center welcomes UMKC students, staff, and faculty who have been affected by this disaster, or who need extra support. Please call 816-235-1635, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Those with speech or hearing impairments may call Relay Missouri at 800-735-2966 (TTY) or 800-735-2466 (voice). You also may visit the Counseling Center offices located at 4825 Troost, Suite 206. Due to construction and street closings, please check the Counseling Center web site for the best routes to the building. For students receiving financial aid, the federal government may be changing financial aid amounts based on the level of destruction in Joplin. For information please contact the Financial Aid office at 816-235-1154 for updates.

Disasters can strike at any time. It is at times such as these that we come to realize just how connected we truly are and the power that each of us has to support one another.

Leo E. Morton
UMKC Chancellor

Several organizations and individuals are helping victims of the Joplin tornado. Here's how you can get involved and help those affected by the deadliest single U.S. tornado since 1953:


  • The American Red Cross has set up a page for Missouri tornado and flood relief.
  • The Joplin Red Cross could use some donations. You can contact it at (417) 624-4411 or in order to find out what supplies are most necessary.
  • The Missouri SEMA has set up a donation page.
  • A list of major non-profits that operate regularly in Missouri can be found on the National Donations Management Network website. You can also call (800) 427-4626 for further information.
  • The Missouri Interfaith Disaster Response Organization is taking donations for longterm recovery efforts.
  • The Community Blood Center of the Ozarks is in need of blood — particularly type O. A list of donation sites can be found here.


  • 211 Missouri is helping organize volunteers in the affected areas. More information can be found by calling (800) 427-462.
  • Nurses or doctors looking to help can call (417) 832-9500 for the Greater Ozarks chapter of the Red Cross.
  • Health professionals can register to volunteer through the Show-Me Response website.  

Animal rescue

  • For those in the Joplin area: Emergency Pet Center of the Four States at 7th & Illinois near the Sonic is OPEN and accepting found/injured animals. Its phones are down at this time.
  • The "Animals Lost & Found from the Joplin, Mo tornado" Facebook page is tracking lost and found pets.

Safety Information

  • The National Americorp Volunteers are setting up a national hotline for residents to call to check on loved ones. The number is (417) 659-5464 and should be active.
  • The American Red Cross has set up a site on which you can check in, report on the safety of others, or look for information on loved ones.
  • The "Joplin people accounted for after the storm" Facebook page is helping people track loved ones who fell out of touch during the storm.
  • The St. John's Health System has been updating its Facebook page regularly with information relevant to the aftermath of the storm.

Other efforts


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American Red Cross



Salvation Army

Heart to Heart International