In the wake of the tragedy in Joplin, Mo. the alumni association searched its databases to see if any Mines alumni live in the city. The search yielded Dave DeSonier ’80, whom we immediately emailed. We share his response below, which was written two days after the tornado hit.
Thanks for asking about us.
Our house and family are okay. We are 1.5 miles from the blast zone. The photos are impactful, but nothing like driving through the area and seeing the devastation. Leggett & Platt (where I work) has 38 employees whose homes are gone. At church, we have 80 families in that situation.
The high school, several elementary schools, one of the two hospitals, WalMart, Home Depot, and many other businesses and restaurants are basically total losses. It will take a while to rebuild the medical and educational facilities. We know several people who were injured, but don’t know personally anyone who died.
My church (it’s pretty big) has become a major distribution center. Yesterday it served 2500 tornado victims (with 1500 volunteers!). We accept donations (from all over the country!), unload big trucks of supplies, sort them, and set them up so that victims can basically just walk through (it’s a long walk) and gather food, water, toys, toiletries, blankets, pillows, bedding, baby supplies, car seats, first aid supplies, medicines, paper products, etc.
The response from the city and country is wonderful. So many people wanting to help. Logistics and communication are a challenge. Still no power or water in parts of Joplin; no cable (thus no internet or TV coverage) in the city (and at our house L). I only get internet at work. At home I use email and Facebook on my phone. Cell phone coverage is out in the blast zones (all cell towers are down and / or without power).
David M. DeSonier, MBA, CMA
Corporate Strategy and Investor Relations, Leggett & Platt
David’s company, Leggett and Platt, is helping to distribute assistance. Anyone who wishes to donate may do so by clicking here.