Liz Holliday

Communications Specialist
Posts Tagged ‘joplin’

How you can help rebuild the Joplin mosque

This was reported on KOAM News, on August 7, 2012:

KOAM TV 7 Joplin and Pittsburg

JOPLIN, MO- The Joplin community proves once again that they can come together to lend a hand in the face of destruction. The aftermath of Monday’s mosque fire is no different.

Less than 48 hours after the Islamic Center of Joplin burned to the ground church members are already thinking of rebuilding.

“It was not just a mosque, it was a community center too,” says Faiqa Camran, a member of the Islamic Society of Joplin. “We had the Sunday School here for the kids. We had soccer games and cricket games, and kids, they play in the summer time.”

From pot lucks to interfaith dinners, the site served the Islamic community since 2007.

For the members it is still hard to believe it is gone.

“You think of how you’ll react when you see other stories, but when it happens to you’re actually in it, it is like time slows down, but any positive story and anyone reaching out really makes a difference,” says Hina Qidwai, another member of the Islamic Society of Joplin.

But reaching out is exactly what the local community is trying to do, from Facebook posts to anonymous donations.

Ashley Carter is organizing a wider fundraiser for the mosque from her dorm at Ozark Christian College in Joplin.

“It just kind of sky rocketed into this rally, this rally of just sort of promoting love within the community, of uniting each other,” Carter says.

The event called Neighbors will be held on August 25 at Landreth Park and will include live bands, food and promoting community togetherness.

“We’re going to be raising money for the community that was effected, as of their pressing needs is going to be going directly to them,” says Carter.

The rally isn’t the only way concerned citizens can help.

The Islamic Center of Joplin is now accepting donations to their Post Office Box in Joplin and also at the Commerce Bank on North Main in Joplin.

Spreading the word about breastfeeding benefits

Originally reported on July 31st, 2012 for KOAM News.

Freeman Hospital receives a grant to help develop the Southwest Missouri Breastfeeding Coalition to educate women on the benefits of putting down the baby bottle.  The new coalition is a joint effort with Mercy Hospital and the City of Joplin, and hopes to raise breastfeeding rates over the next three years.

New mom Stephanie Nixon always felt that breastfeeding her son Dalton was the natural thing to do, but that didn’t stop her from looking at other options.

“I did some research and formula babies are more likely to be overweight, more likely to have long term health issues than breast fed babies and that just reinforced my decision that I wanted to breast feed anyway,” says Nixon.

Breastfeeding levels in Missouri are lower than the national average and that’s why Freeman thought it was important to have vital information available for moms-to-be.

“A lot of it is just education,” says Project Coordinator Cathy Brown.  “Breastfeeding isn’t seen as a norm.  A lot of women see it as an additional way to feed a child but not the normal way to feed a child.”

Breast milk awareness is becoming a national trend.  New York City’s mayor has even suggested putting formula under lock and key to prevent new mothers from using it.

But lactation specialist Dee Alejandro says that’s not necessary.

“Wince the nurses don’t give formula unless it’s ordered, or unless mom asks for it, I really don’t think there is a need to lock it up,” says Alejandro.

According to the hospital newborns should be solely breast feed for the first six months of life.

Breast Feeding Awareness month starts August 1.  Supporters across the nation will use the month to educate the public about the benefits of breast milk, even if takes some getting used to.