Retailers, suppliers band together to help Joplin, Mo., residents

The Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program brought its free laundry service to Joplin, Mo., to help those affected by the tornado that ripped through the area.

JOPLIN, Mo. — It has been weeks since a massive tornado ripped through Joplin, Mo., bringing with it widespread destruction and a death toll that, by most recent reports, has surpassed 150. As residents now work to clean up the devastation and piece back together their tattered homes and shattered community, several industry members have stepped up to show their support.

“This is a horrible tragedy for the Joplin community. We’re deeply concerned by the devastation we’ve seen, and our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured or lost family members in the tornado,” Walmart said in a company statement issued one day after the May 22 tornado. “Our store near Rangeline Road was significantly damaged. Sadly, we had some injuries and fatalities as the tornado blew through the building. We extend our deepest condolences to the families of those customers in this extremely difficult time.”

To help with the relief efforts, Walmart pledged $1 million and soon began directing truckloads of water, food and other basic items to the area.

CVS Caremark stated that the tornado directly affected some of its PBM clients and their members in the area. To help them and the other residents, CVS Caremark donated about $40,000 in monetary and in-kind donations.

Upon hearing of the disaster, the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program hit the road to bring its free laundry service to the area. Working with the American Red Cross, the program provided free full-service laundry to relief workers and residents in need.

Tide Loads of Hope was created in 2005 to provide free laundry services to families affected by Hurricane Katrina. The program since has expanded and, collectively, Tide has washed more than 44,000 loads of laundry for more than 35,000 families impacted by disasters.

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