As the storm ripped through Joplin, Scott, Natalie and son Augie huddled in the bathtub protected by a mattress and a bike helmet they hoped would shield Augie from injury. The twister lifted Scott in the air and debris struck Augie in the head, shattering his helmet. In an instant of calm, Natalie realized they were in the eye of storm and hurried them to take cover in a ditch before the second wave of wind swept over them. Only dating before that day, the couple decided to marry and are eager to start their new life together.
Kyle and Jill, along with their four boys, Keenan, Konnor, Korbin and Kaleb, now call this cabin styled design their new home. Kyle is a firefighter who was on duty when the tornado struck. Before he was able to check on his family, Kyle spent the first hours after the storm rescuing trapped victims and caring for hurt neighbors. Though their home was destroyed, Jill and the boys survived, shielded by a door that deflected the deadly debris.
The Howards are a laid-back family that loves outdoor activities and were in the process of planning a camping trip before the storm. Their love for adventure was the inspiration for their rustic-style house. We hope it gives them the peace of a mountain retreat all year long.
Tom and Emily Walters, with their daughter Chloe, moved into their former Joplin house in 2006. Emily, a nurse, and Tom, a teacher and coach, have given their lives to nurturing others. When the tornado hit, the family took shelter in a bathtub. As soon as it was safe, the couple rushed to a nearby nursing home that had collapsed and helped rescue several people from the rubble. With their own home demolished and the family unable to rebuild, they’ve been living with mily’s parents.
This young family likes surfing, skating and adventure. Tom’s friends describe him as “eclectic and beachy” so the beach was brought to them through a home that exudes coastal charm.
Thang Nguyen was a member of the Vietnamese Air Force that supported U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam War. Afterwards, he and his family came to Joplin where Thang worked for over three decades at General Mills. The night of the storm, Thang convinced his wife to save the dinner she had prepared and go out to satisfy his craving for seafood. While the storm missed the restaurant, it destroyed their home. A local church provided an apartment for them. But with the lease soon to expire, they were concerned about where they would live next.
Crystal Cogdill is passionate about helping displaced families find homes, which makes her ideally suited for her job at the Joplin Housing Authority. After the tornado, Crystal and her youngest son found themselves homeless and grieving the loss of 9-year-old Zach. This progressive mom likes black and earth tones, but doesn’t have a lot of time to upkeep her home exterior.
All these factors came into play with the design of “The Modern.”
When the storm tore through town, Justin and Kari, along with their four children, Uriah, Avery, Cana and Rhoen, sought shelter in the cellar. Even though their house was completely ripped apart, Justin immediately began to help dig neighbors out of the wreckage. Since May, the Nevins have been living in a friend’s basement.
A loving Mom of three young children and personal care aid for disabled and elderly clients, Crystal Whitely is known for putting others before herself. When the tornado struck, Crystal and the kids took shelter in the bathtub, but within minutes their house was ripped from its foundation. In the chaos, 6-yearold Trentan and 10-year-old Shante were pulled from mom’s arms. Crystal and 4-year-old Keana were the only survivors.