RILA members arrive in Joplin, Mo., to help cleanup efforts

ARLINGTON, Va. — Members of the Retail Industry Leaders Association on Wednesday arrived in Joplin, Mo., to help clean up the Midwest city that was hard-hit in May by a category F-5 tornado.

“In the weeks after the tornado, we heard first-hand from our members who operate in the Joplin area about the enormity of this disaster and its devastating effect on their employees and the thousands of customers they serve,” the association posted in a July 11 blog. “We heard stories of heroic actions taken by retail associates during the storm, as well as stories of great generosity from retailers in the immediate aftermath. Our thoughts quickly turned to how we too could help.”

Toward that end, RILA and its members joined with Operation Blessing to host a large-scale cleanup. More than 250 volunteers from America’s leading retailers are on hand in Joplin through Friday to help with the cleanup and rebuilding efforts already under way.

Participants include members of the RILA Workplace Safety Committee and Disaster Recovery and Preparedness Committee, and local field-level associates from among RILA’s retail members, including Dollar General, Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Kmart, Sears, Target, Walgreens and Walmart.

“We at RILA want to express our unending support as companies and communities move forward in the aftermath of this devastating national disaster,” RILA posted. “RILA and our members will continue to be there to lend our assistance as relief efforts move ahead.”