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Downtown Joplin Alliance Holds First Ever Volunteer Orientation

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

    The downtown Joplin alliance hosting it's first ever "volunteer orientation".
    That's because of the growing number of folks interested in helping downtown.
    For some, volunteering, helps more than just the downtown area.

    The Downtown Joplin Alliance has actually been around - since the late 80s, you may remember "Main Street Joplin" next to the old KOZJ offices at 4th and Main.
Then, downtown at a vacancy rate of around 75%, now, it's down to 7%, and that in part, is thanks to volunteers - leading to the volunteer orientation at the Empire Market.
Lori Haun, Downtown Joplin Alliance: "This is the first one like this that we've done, we'll probably do one a couple of times a year, we had a lot of people that were interested in getting involved with more downtown stuff, or more empire market things and stuff like that."
For Laura Potts, she helps head up "Kids for Peace - Joplin" and learned about volunteering opportunities and decided to get involved.
Laura Potts, Kids for Peace - Joplin: "We, as kids for peace, we volunteered to be Pet Pals at Third Thursday, so all the kids come out and they hand out bags for pet owners, to keep it cleaned up and nice."
And it goes beyond building pride in their community, it gets them outdoors, and face to face with people.
Potts: "At first their shy, not talking to other people, but now they're getting to know people out in the community, they're getting to recognize people, they see all the work they do when it's all cleaned up, they see the before and the after and they're proud of what they've done."
For Potts, she was part of a military family, so she says she didn't really have any roots, but because of that, she knows how important where you came from, really is.
Potts: "Showing kids where their roots are and watching them develop...you can always look back once you're older on your roots, and no matter which direction you go in your life, you can fall back on your roots."

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Chris Warner
Reporter

A Joplin native, Chris first started in broadcasting at age 16 at KSNF-TV in 2004..

Chris joined the KOAM team in 2017 as an Associate Producer. In April, he moved into a full-time reporter position. He spent time from 2008 to 2016 in various retail roles around the region before returning to his passion at KOAM. Chris is excited to continue telling the stories of the four states. Chris and his wife Amber live in Joplin and have three amazing children.

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