JOPLIN, MO -- Volunteers can come in big and small packages. 8 year old Mallory Norris, of Joplin, along with her mother Tammy, spent weeks after the tornado helping people impacted by the storm. Tammy served food to first responders, volunteers, and storm survivors. Mallory helped in any way she could. "I handed out Gatorade, water, food, and lots of people gave me hugs."
Volunteers came from across the country for many different reasons. For Tammy, her motivation to help came through prayer. "When I prayed that night, and heard the sirens." Tammy recalls. "I think God put it on me, a calling, that I needed to do this."
South Joplin Christian Church Pastor Jill Michel says many people lean on their religious beliefs to get them through during disasters. "For people of faith, I think it really is about how they understand their relationship with God." Michel explains.
The City of Joplin has registered more than 126,000 volunteers who have given selflessly. Ozark Center Psychologist Vicky Mieseler says helping others, could have a positive impact on someone's health. "It's a depression lifter for a lot of people" Mieseler explains. "People are in complete control of everything they're doing. It gives people a sense of self confidence."
To volunteers like Mallory, she says she just wanted to make people feel happy.