Nonprofits Making a Difference

In this month of gratitude, we’re giving thanks for the multiple nonprofit organizations that serve our region daily. And we appreciate those of you who support them with your time and your dollars. You are making a difference for so many in our communities. Here are just a few of the nonprofits seeking your support of their good works: 

By Ann Leach 

The concept is simple: Help the community chase away winter’s chill by spreading warmth to those who need it most. 

Citizens of Joplin, Neosho and Webb City will do just that during the ninth year of Chase the Chill Southwest Missouri. This free yarn bombing event happens Saturday, Dec. 9, at 10:30 a.m. with volunteers distributing scarves in public places so those in need, regardless of income and without any qualifications or other criteria, can help themselves. 

Scarves are draped on trees, over bridges and on other locations around the three communities. They are tagged with an invitation for anyone to claim ownership of the scarf and winter accessories attached. 

“I think it’s great that there isn’t any special requirement for receiving a scarf,” said Jessica Tupper Moss, project coordinator. “Not just handmade scarves, but gently loved or storebought beauties are welcome, too! We also are accepting hats, gloves and ear muffs this year.” 

Donated items can be dropped off at the Joplin Public Library, 1901 E. 20th St., Homewood Suites, 2642 E. 32nd St., Park Plaza Christian Church at 32nd and Indiana streets, and Freeman Hospital Joplin and Neosho Main entrances until Dec. 4. Missouri Southern School of Social Work, on the Missouri Southern State University campus will collect from students and staff. 

This year as they enter year nine, Moss and a volunteer team of about 350 plan to have the biggest donation year yet and help as many families as these communities possibly can. “We are always looking for businesses to partner with us. We have an annual business partner that joins us each year; this season, Ghetto Tacos is our supporting local business. It is really growing. This area is the best community, pulling together like we always have to provide this warmth,” said Moss. 

Moss decided to become the new project coordinator after the passing of her grandparents, Jan and Carol Tupper, who were big service charity partners with several groups in the Joplin community. “They taught me to always give back, love on people and be proud of your town. I wanted to find something I could do to continue that legacy in my life. It just so happens that I can crotchet,” laughed Moss, who took over the event four years ago. 

Last year, Melody Dickey, longtime volunteer, joined Moss as co-chair of the event. “It’s such a great feeling to help, but when you see your scarf on someone in town, it’s overwhelming, and that’s why I continue to be involved.” 

Volunteers are needed to attend the tagging session to prepare the scarves for hanging. Interested helpers will meet at Homewood Suites Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. “We’ll be hanging the scarves starting at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 9,” Moss said. “Anyone is welcome to volunteer for that, as well. We will meet at Homewood Suites to get the scarves and then hit the streets to share a little warmth with those who need it. “ 

To learn more, like the Facebook page at ChaseTheChillSouthwestMissouri or contact Moss directly at 417.680.4906.