Three months after the devastating tornado that hit Joplin, MO in May, survivors are still picking up the pieces and putting them back together. But life goes on, and one important facet of life in any town is the first day of school. And even though six of Joplin’s 18 public schools were wrecked in the storm, and three other schools need to undergo major repairs, school opened on schedule this year.

Because there isn’t a Junior League in Joplin, the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri stepped in to help with a drive to provide Joplin 3rd graders with school supplies and financial support for the battered school district.

Giving new importance to the traditional backpack programs that many Leagues run every year, JLKCMO members gathered at their headquarters to fill bags with the school supplies collected for Bright Futures Joplin, through the Adopt-an-Eagle and Adopt-a-Classroom programs. Two members then drove the $2,725 in monetary donations and 50 backpacks filled with the specific supplies requested for the Joplin 3rd graders down to the Joplin Schools’ temporary location in a former Missouri Department of Transportation facility.

Sometimes, it’s good to go outside your own neighborhood.

Click here to link to see Facebook photos of the sorting event and drop off in Joplin.

Click here to see coverage of JLKCMO’s initiative from NBC TV affiliate KSHB.

And click here for a slide show from The New York Times on what the first day back at school in Joplin looked like.