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Posts Tagged ‘2011’

On Moore and Joplin and Social Media’s help

May 21, 2013 1 comment

joplin

May 22nd is a date that I will always remember. We typically remember dates that are special occasions, birthdays and anniversaries, etc. But we also remember dates surrounding events that were catastrophic. That is the case with me for May 22nd. This is the day when an EF-5 tornado ripped through the heart of Joplin, Missouri, the town I grew up in.

Unfortunately, the people of Moore, Oklahoma will now always remember yesterday’s date, May 20, 2013 for the same reason. All the news on Moore is just now coming out. I can’t really speak to it. But as I watched The Weather Channel’s Mike Bettes come onto the scene, he kept referencing Joplin from two years ago. In fact, before arriving he tweeted, “I do not want to see another #Joplin worst day of my life. #prayformoore.” And indeed, Moore looks very bad. Joplin’s loss of life was 161. Moore right now is 24, but it is still early.

Two years ago, I watched the news images as I did yesterday, but the difference was, I knew my hometown of Joplin like the back of my hand. I actually lived 1000 miles away when the tornado hit. I knew my family and friends were there. One third of the city was decimated. How about my loved ones? It was so devastating that cell phones were no longer a reliable means of communication. I recall trying to call and see if family members were okay. That was the story of so many.

A need to communicate effectively and share information arose out of this awful situation. Social media filled much of that role. My aunt, who heads up the library in Joplin, was asking on Facebook if anyone had heard from my grandmother. I replied that she was ok. She then came back asking where I got that information; did someone talk to her? My sister made the contact, and Facebook passed on the news to other worried individuals in a more reliable way.

There were many pages created to help after this disaster. Missing people boards, volunteer info, fundraising and donation instructions. The Joplin Tornado Info page, started up less than two hours after the tornado by 23 year old Genevieve Williams from Neosho, MO was honored as one of seven nominees for a 2011 Mashable Award in the Social Good Cause Campaign Category. It became the clearing house of information, staffed entirely by volunteers. It seems all of Joplin was on the page with 49,000 likes so quickly. I saw, yesterday that Moore Oklahoma Tornado Info page has gone live modeled after JTI to fill the same sort of role. It already has 32,556 likes. A much smaller page was also created yesterday called, Joplin Loves Moore. I know many from this area have already been deployed to lend a helping hand.

My hometown knows what Moore is going through. In fact tomorrow, we will stand in what was ground zero for a moment of silence exactly two years after that tragedy. The recovery has been nothing short of amazing, and is still ongoing. I was so impacted by everything that occurred and the stories coming out of Joplin that I moved back to the area, and completed a feature-length documentary that chronicles that fateful day and the year following- www.steadfastdocumentary.com.

What can you do to help? If Joplin is an indicator, a good place to start would be Moore Oklahoma Tornado Info’s Facebook page and other social media channels for real-time information.

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What people are saying about “Steadfast”?

January 2, 2013 1 comment

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The following are comments from the 2012 DVD release. The new version is even better!

A superb documentary! “Steadfast” not only tells the story of Joplin’s indomitable spirit after the tornado, but also resonates the faith, hope, and love that brings out the best in all of us. Hats off to you for putting it together in such a professional, entertaining, and uplifting manner! –Tim Bartow

While other writings and films about the tornado focus on events, this film focuses on people. “Steadfast” is an inspiring story in the midst of tragedy and devastation. – Jacque Gage

Absolute Blessing!!! Thank you so much for this Documentary, left there feeling HOPEFUL and UPLIFTED!!! –Michele Lucas Fry

I was very moved by this documentary and was waiting for a flood of tears and sorrow, but it was a great mix of heroes, loss, and even some much needed light-hearted moments to remember that we (Joplin) survived and are thriving despite the tragedy! –Bryan Davis

A beautiful story of hope! It’s about an ugly day in our lives, that turned into many beautiful and encouraging days of God’s works! –Linda Jarvis Teeter

I thought Greg did a wonderful job! I was a bit nervous because we haven’t really watched many videos or even looked at the books. I felt very blessed when we left and will watch the DVD again. –Sonja Hoover-Harper

Watched it all—very well done! Thank you for doing this. It is emotional, but I am glad I set aside my fear of dealing with these emotions and watched it. You should too! It will help you heal. –Jane Dye

Amazing film, Gregory Fish! Thank you for telling Joplin’s story. You did an awesome job of capturing the emotions. Thank you, again. –Deborah Morris

Most excellent!! –Pam Braxdale Harrington

Amazing! Thank you for all of your hard work! –Kristin McCarthy Perry

It was tremendous. –Elaine Francis

It was beautiful, Greg. Congratulations! –Tammy Nelson

Awesome job Greg!!! Steadfast was touching, funny and heartfelt! 5 Stars! –Pam Corwin Dudley

Steadfast, the documentary was precious, powerful, touching, moving and honoring of our town, our God and those who lost loved ones and homes. Thank you for your work, your heart, and your gifts! –Tammy Benson

Excellent job Mr. Fish! Glad I was able to be a part of the showing tonight. You really captured the tragedy and the resilience very well in a short 90 minutes. Looks like ya had a great turn out too, so that was awesome. Sleep well. Ya did good tonight, kid, real good! –Jay Tepe

Excellent Job! –Spencer Aggus

“Just attended the premiere of “Steadfast: The Documentary” and it was GREAT! Very touching and inspiring! It reminds me yet again of why I love this town and why I’m so proud of this community. I highly recommend it. Thanks, Gregory Fish, for all your hard work and congratulations on a job well done!” –Mandie Jennings

2 thumbs up and 5 stars for an awe-inspiring debut of “Steadfast, The Documentary”, which played tonight to a packed house at College Heights Christian Church in Joplin. Thank you, Greg, for using your divine talents to serve and bless so many people. –Van Benson

It was a hair-raising documentary, that left you speechless and awe struck at the devastation and the resilience of a community. –Scott McGill

The “Steadfast” documentary highlighted a God-honoring response by a community hit by one powerful tornado. –Dave Case

Just watched Steadfast. Excellent production of the May 22, 2011 tornado and aftermath. To all my friends who have been here to volunteer…you will want to see it. -Desiree Keyes Limkeman

Great job Mr. Fish!! Impressive!! –Misti Terterman Tackett

Well done, young man!! Well done!!! –Jim Cruzan

A great story. Very well presented! –Elizabeth Robertson

Proud doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel about my little brother and the work he did on this documentary. I had seen over half of it, but he wrapped it up beautifully and I was moved to tears along with hundreds of other people that watched Joplin’s story unfold before our eyes. Good job, Gregory Fish! –Charissa Robinett

Excellent documentary on the Joplin tornado: uplifting, inspiring, with moments of levity, and seriousness. Good job, Gregory Fish! –David Fish

It was beautifully done! I know there are so many of us that will never be the same because of the tornado and all that we went through. Greg did a wonderful job of capturing the experience of the tornado. We are all forever changed for the better. Experiences like the tornado are never easy but sometimes through painful times we really grow. Thank you for all your hard work and for sharing the film with us! –Christine Segal

Thank you for telling Joplin’s story– a story of hope, of faith, of God! The only way we can make it through and will continue to live and move and have our being is in Him! –Pamela Praytor

You did an outstanding job, Greg! Thanks for all your hard work. -Gary & Randa Reed

Steadfast is a tool that should be in the library of all grief counselors! -Lance Hostetter

Joplin Documentary Site is Live

A big part of this last year for me has been the Joplin tornado. I was not in Joplin during that fierce storm, but being from there, my heart went out for this place. I shortly arrived with supplies, money and aid, like so many of other volunteers. One area that I felt I could be of most use was in documenting what I saw. Several trips later, we find ourselves living back in the area. With the passing of the first anniversary, we now are done filming and are in the production stage of “Steadfast- The Documentary”.

There is a short trailer and more info live at www.steadfastdocumentary.com. You can sign up for updates there, as well as pre-order a DVD. Half of all profits will go to rebuilding Joplin. Thanks for supporting this project and Joplin.

My Newest VBS video!

Here’s my newest VBS Highlights video yet! Unless you’re watching this a year or more after it’s upload date. It was Pandamania for sure!

This is my first VBS video with a DSLR (7D). I shot it all on a fig rig that I made out of PVC (see my DIY category).

Here was last years: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGE87uSy9JY

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