Along with Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, the Kansas City Royals are pleased to support the 2012 Governor's Joplin Habitat Challenge! The Royals are partnering with the Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity and other Missouri sports teams to build 35 homes in Joplin for tornado victims, and we need your help!
The Royals sent a contingent down to Joplin on Monday, Sept. 24 to work with Habitat for Humanity on four homes in the "Royals Neighborhood." More than 30 front offices associates joined pitcher Danny Duffy, Sluggerrr and former players John Mayberry, Willie Aikens, Brian McRae, Greg Pryor and Shawn Sedlacek for the trip. A group of staffers from the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, the club's Double-A affiliate in the Texas League, also joined the group for the day.
The group worked alongside volunteers as well as the families that will soon move into the Habitat homes In addition, the players and Sluggerrr had the opportunity to sign autographs, take photos, meet residents of Joplin and thank volunteers for their unselfish efforts.
Fans are encouraged to visit www.joplinchallenge.mo.gov for information on the initiative. In addition, there are a number of ways fans can continue to support the rebuilding effort, including:
The Governor's Joplin Challenge also includes the Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas Speedway, University of Missouri Athletic Department, the St. Louis Cardinals, the St. Louis Rams and the St. Louis Blues.
The EF-5 twister that hit Joplin on May 22, 2011, damaged or destroyed more than 7,700 households, and thousands of Joplin residents continue to live in temporary housing or with family and friends. The 2012 Governor's Joplin Habitat Challenge addresses the new for permanent housing for 35 homes built this year and setting the stage for more to follow.
Gov. Nixon's administration will provide a $3.6 million Community Development Block Grant to support construction and organizational management, as well as pave the way for future builds.
The 35 homes are divided into seven different neighborhoods, with each neighborhood assigned a sponsor from among the seven Missouri athletic organizations. Representatives from each organization will visit their neighborhood to serve alongside volunteers and professional buildings and assist with the construction.
The challenge was announced at Mizzou Arena prior the Kansas-Missouri basketball game on February 4. During the event, Royals All-Star Aaron Crow, who also attended the University of Missouri, represented the club at the halftime announcement.
The Royals thank our fans for your generous support and urge you to continue to help in the ongoing relief efforts. Here are details on the Royals relief efforts.
Royals Charities contributed $25,000 to the Heart to Heart relief effort in Joplin and $10,000 to the Reading relief effort. Reading, a small community of 250 people located approximately 50 miles south of Topeka, Kan., was hit by an EF3 tornado on the evening of May 21, 2011. One person perished, and approximately half of the city's homes and businesses were destroyed.
Royals fans generously contributed more than $18,000 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief fund during the club's series with the Los Angeles Angels, May 31-June 1, 2011. Thank you for your tremendous generosity!
The Royals and St. Louis Cardinals joined together to dedicate the I-70 Series at Busch Stadium in June 2011 to Joplin. The series featured a number of fundraisers, awareness efforts and special tributes from both teams.
In conjunction with the Teams Unite for Joplin campaign, the Royals and Cardinals both hosted online auctions featuring game-used items from the series. In addition, the Royals also hosted the Joplin Jersey Hand-Off fundraiser on June 25, 2011 during which fans could purchase instant-win tickets to win a game-worn jersey featuring the "Teams Unite for Joplin" patch from a Royals player on the field. The two Royals events raised nearly $25,000 for the American Red Cross and Royals Charities disaster relief efforts.
Together with Jeff and Catie Francoeur, the Royals hosted the annual Back to School Drive on August 4-5, 2011 to support Joplin schools that were devastated by the tornado on May 22.
In addition to basic school supplies and backpacks, Royals fans were encouraged to donate gently-used books for classrooms. Fans making a $40 cash contribution received a baseball autographed by their Royals player of choice, while fans making a $10 donation received a photo card autographed by their Royals player of choice.
Alex and Jamie Gordon then led the effort for the annual Coat Drive, held September 16-17, 2011 at Kauffman Stadium. Coats and winter accessories collected during the two-day drive also went to benefit Joplin residents in need.
The wives also sold mystery bags for a $20 donation, each of which included a baseball autographed by a Royals player. Fans making a $10 donation received a photo card autographed by the Royals player of their choice.
All items collected and funds raised through the Coat Drive benefitted Jackets for Joplin, which is being administered by Bright Futures. The grass-roots, community-based program works to create partnerships and utilize community resources with the goal of helping children while strengthening families and the entire Joplin community.
Special "Teams Unite for Joplin" commemorative t-shirts were sold at the Royals Majestic Team Store at Kauffman Stadium for $20 with proceeds going towards Joplin relief. SOLD OUT!
Representatives of the Kansas City Royals and Northwest Arkansas Naturals, the club's Double-A affiliate in Springdale, Ark., made a goodwill trip to Joplin, Mo., to visit tornado victims and relief effort volunteers on June 6, 2011.
The Royals contingent included former first baseman Willie Aikens, former outfielder Brian McRae and Royals Director-Broadcast Services & Royals Alumni Fred White. Royals mascot Sluggerrr and members of the K Crew also made the trip. The group was joined by members of the Naturals, including pitcher Buddy Baumann, catcher Ryan Eigsti, General Manager Eric Edelstein and Naturals mascot Strike.
Together, the Royals and Naturals served lunch to Joplin residents affected by the recent tornado devastation, as well as volunteers currently helping in the relief effort. The lunch is sponsored by Sam's Club, Tyson and Wright Brand Bacon. The group also signed autograph and helped assembly and distribute care kits to those in need.
The Royals hosted an exclusive online auction that raised more than $2,500, all of which was donated to Heart to Heart International in support of its relief efforts. Thank you for your support.
Heart to Heart International was at Kauffman Stadium on May 26-27, 2011, collecting supplies to be used for hygiene care kits for the victims of these tornadoes. Through the generous contributions from our fans, Heart to Heart was able to fill two trucks with supplies.
The Royals are committed to helping in the ongoing recovery effort. Check back here for updates and information on ways that you can help. Thank you.