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Columbia Missourian

FROM READERS: Mid-Missouri lifer rides his bike for victims of natural disasters

May 13, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT
Theo Holtwick rides his bike to help raise money for Joplin.

Theo Holtwick has been a volunteer coordinator at Rebuild Joplin for six months. He is a lifelong Mid-Missouri resident and an MU alumnus. 

On May 22, 2011 Joplin, MO was hit by an EF5 tornado that destroyed one third of the town. Five thousand homes and approximately 500 businesses were destroyed and thousands of people were displaced. 

This June 20th, I will depart on the 10 day, 800 mile JOMONOLA bike ride between Joplin, MO (JOMO) and New Orleans, LA (NOLA).  This ride will raise funds for those displaced by the Joplin tornado, along with Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy - $50,000 for each community!  I am currently seeking donations to raise money for the JOMONOLA team to help restore the American Dream of home ownership for victims of natural disaster in Joplin, New Orleans, and NY/NJ.  Every little bit helps and donations large or small will help get families displaced back home ASAP.

I work for Rebuild Joplin which is a non-profit organization that uses volunteer labor and donations to rebuild and repair homes damaged by the May 22, 2011 tornado.  The mission and tactics of this organization are amazing! I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with Rebuild Joplin as an AmeriCorps member, and I’m passionate about the cause.  The downright unlucky nature of the devastation that Joplin’s tornado victims, and other victims of natural disaster, have gone through is heartbreaking.  Through this experience, I have come to better understand the importance of having a place one can call home.  I’m extremely proud to consider Fayette and mid-Missouri my home.

To learn more about how you can help send me off on this 800 mile journey and to help get those displaced by natural disaster back home, please visit or email me at For those interested in helping financially, please donate online or send your tax deductible donation payable to Rebuild Joplin with my name in the memo to 705 1llinois Ave, Suite 1, Joplin, MO 64801.  Thanks!

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor Joy Mayer.