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Dorn family returns to Joplin

In the June 1, Lifestyles section of the Picayune Item,   a story ran of the Daniel and Becca Dorn family. The family had just relocated to Picayune to be near Daniel Dorn’s family from Becca’s hometown of  Joplin, Mo. mere months before the devastating F-5 tornado struck.

Just as Daniel and his church family from Joplin had rushed to Picayune to help when Hurricane Katrina hit, the Dorn family has returned to Joplin to help Becca’s relatives and her life-long friends since the tornado touched down leveling one third of the Southwest Missouri town.

As reported earlier in the Item, when news reached the rest of the nation about the tornado, Becca Dorn immediately went about setting up a bank account for donations and collecting items to bring up to Joplin.

She said, “We had a trailer full to bring with us! We had so many clothes that we are bringing some of them back with us (there is no where for the people in need to store clothing as of this time) and we are going to have a big garage sale upon our return home. That way we can just bring back money from the sale to help everyone.”

Becca Dorn described the highs and lows of her return to Joplin in a phone conversation on June 22.

“It’s been really tough, the people that told me that pictures don’t do it justice were not kidding. Debris is everywhere. Seeing the apartments where we lived for 10 years for the first time was so emotional I could hardly open my eyes. You could see debris everywhere, irons hanging in trees and computers dangling from exposed second floors with some of the family’s personal items still in place. One of my friend’s homes was untouched by the damaging winds but there is still debris in her trees and all over her yard.

“At night it is dark. The street lights are out and it is just eerie. It is too much,” she continued.

Overall, Dorn described herself as thankful.

“I have a very sweet story of a gal that has a young daughter the same age as my daughter and a six-month-old. I kept asking and asking if she needed baby food or anything and she kept telling me ‘no.’

“Finally, right before we came up here, I asked for the last time and she told me, ‘You know, we need a Scout Puppy dog for my six-month-old. He has had one sitting in his crib since he came home from the hospital and we lost it in the tornado.’

“I looked, and looked, but I couldn’t find one. Then my mother-in-law opened a bag of donated toys and there was a Scout Puppy dog right on top! I am bringing it to her today.”

In a follow up phone interview with Dorn, on Friday, she said that the family was in the process of heading back to Picayune, after stopping at the Mississippi State Tournament with the Picayune Rebels to watch her son play.

She said, “This tournament is a great break from all of the emotional upheaval that the children have been through in the last few days. The boys are tied for first in the state and they are ahead in this tournament, so far.”

Referring to the Scout Puppy, she said, “I was able to get it to the six-month-old’s mom and she actually sent me an e-mail last night. She told me that when she gave it to him, he looked at the little puppy as if to say, ‘There you are! Where have you been?!’”

“It just makes you want to cry from happiness that you can be part of bringing back a small piece of normality into someone’s life,” she continued.

“We look forward to holding our benefit garage sale and coming back to Joplin with the proceeds very soon. We are even talking to a local church pastor about some of the people in the church coming back with us.”

For more information on how to contribute to the Dorn family’s effort to help people in Joplin, you can reach Becca Dorn at 417-483-3075.